Christmas Devotion – December 23

The message and miracle of Christmas is God historically and personally entered this world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1,14).

There is mystery to this Christmas miracle. We cannot fully understand the Christmas miracle and mystery of incarnation. We can know and believe what God has revealed in His Word and learn to spiritually think and apply it. Thinking deeply and applying rightly the miracle and mystery of Christmas is not primarily theological, it concerns the cultivation of a spiritually life-giving relationship with God.

Consider this poignant Christmas passage: “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me’” (Hebrews 10:5-6). Think about what this passage reveals. The eternal Son of God had never had a body. The Father prepared a body for His Son.

Sin had to be atoned. No other human being could live perfectly and die as a sin substitute for themselves or others. The only solution was that God become a human, fully God, fully man. The Christmas miracle reveals the apex of the genius and love of God.

On earth, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, became subject to hunger, thirst, suffering, and on the cross, our sin and death. He took on a body and became our once and for all sacrifice. The Old Testament system of sacrifice and offerings was not sufficient but only foreshadowed and spoke of the One to come. The will of the Father was to send His one and only Son. “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all” (Hebrews 10:10). This is the Christmas good news of great joy!

There is also another profound Christmas comfort in the Hebrews passage. Christ took on a body not only to achieve our salvation. He took on a body so that He may fully identify with us. God in Christ became vulnerable to the human struggle and suffering. The Christ of Christmas is our Savior and our empathizing High Priest. In His wounds, Christ bears witness that He is our fellow Sojourner in our suffering.

Many of us have known a measure of sorrow and suffering. We pray God would take it away. Sometimes, He gives respite from our momentary struggles and healing for our present pain. One day, we know there will be no more sorrow and suffering. Right now, what we need and long for is someone who knows and understands our suffering.

The message of Christmas is Christ our Savior and High Priest is this Someone. “For this reason He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest…” (Hebrews 2:17). Christ, our High Priest, has declared solidarity with us in our suffering. He is Immanuel, the God who is with us.

Today and this Christmas, take great comfort in the Christmas message. It is for you. Seek Him and trust Him, especially with your brokenness, struggles, failures, and pain. He is our once and for all time Savior and our merciful and faithful High Priest.