“Who, thought he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8
This past week, we decorated our house and Christmas tree. As a child, I remember decorating our Christmas tree and we had a few specific ornaments hanging on the tree that were glass and acted like a mirror. I remember how my reflection looked so silly. I also remember the Christmas after my grandmother died. It was hard for me knowing that she would not be around to speak with her and enjoy a conversation with her. As a kid, I had fun making goofy faces appear on the round colorful balls hanging from our tree and having conversations with my Grandmother. That was about fourteen years ago, yet the powerful emotions of Christmas make these memories linger on.
Christmas must bring bittersweet memories for God the Father. I cannot imagine a pain greater than losing a child. I do know the great joy and blessing of seeing my four children being born. I cannot imagine God the Father, sending His Son, knowing that He would be killed! Don’t skim over the above verses. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, was equal in every way with God the Father. Grasp the significance. Jesus gave up His place with God the Father. He was there before the beginning of time, receiving the praises of the angels. He willingly gave up His position, to become like you and me. Would you and I have done that? To be honest with you, I do not think I could do this.
The birth of Jesus was a divine “demotion”. It is hard for us to understand as we scratch, claw, fight and climb our way up ladders for promotions in our world. Jesus Christ’s first coming was counter-intuitive in every way. Why? Because He came to become like us, and to share in all of our emotions and experiences. He became like us to be able to be a very personal God, a God that fully understands us spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. He became like us, in order to die for all of us.
If painful memories and sad emotions grip your heart this Christmas season, I pray that you will remember the divine “demotion” that Christ took for you and for me. Whatever emotion you are feeling, He has felt as well. Whatever troubles you, He has been there, too. Friends and family members sometimes abandon us, but He never leaves us or forsakes us. Those of us who are Christ-followers know that we truly have a friend in the Christ child, Jesus, our God, Lord, big brother, and our coming King (John 15:15)!
Posted on Mon, December 9, 2013
by Sam Petitfils