Christmas = The Perfect Life We Couldn’t Live.
A working-class guy living just outside Detroit got stranded with a broken-down car. A limousine pulled up, and its well-dressed owner offered to help. “Yeah, right,” the man snickered to himself but reluctantly agreed, saying, “Sure. Go ahead. Knock yourself out.” Witnessing a wealthy fellow tinkering under the hood of that jalopy was quite a sight to behold. After a bit of tapping here and tightening there, the rich man shouted, “Crank it up!” Immediately, the engine roars to life. When asked how he knew what was wrong, the man replies, “Because I made that car.” His name? Henry Ford.
The incredible beauty of Christmas lies in the fact that God intricately designed and intimately knows us but took it a giant step further by becoming One of us. The Gospel is the story of Jesus living the perfect life we couldn’t and dying the death we deserved. Peter captures it eloquently: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).
Consider the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20th, 1969, when Neil Armstrong declared, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Now rewind 2,000 years to a place six miles outside Jerusalem, where the Creator of the Cosmos made an immense leap of a vastly superior kind. The Word descended from heaven to become fully human while remaining fully God. Unlike all world leaders throughout history, Christ Jesus “Did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Whenever I read that verse in Mark 10:45, I can’t help but picture Jesus stooping over to wash the disciples’ feet with a towel in His hand (“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve”) Imagine a ruler like Julius Caesar performing a foot-washing ceremony! Made more unfathomable had Brutus and his 60 co-conspirators been the recipients.
Jesus stamped God’s seal of approval on followers not by staking a flag like an astronaut or occupying a throne in Rome but by being staked to wooden beams with arms stretched wide. I believe John 16:33 best articulates His cosmos-shattering feat: “In the world, you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world!”
As homework, do a devotion on Philippians 2:5-11. There’s every reason to believe it was an early church hymn due to its rhythm and structure. Those verses are the basis for this blog’s title: Christmas = The Perfect Life We Couldn’t Live. The Painful Death We Deserved to Die. Study Philippians 2:5-11 today for yourself. What do you see?
Jesus said for those who have ears to hear, let them hear.