What a humbling Christmas morning. I awaken today to the sickening realization of my habitual sins and how undeserving I am to receive even the simplest gifts—much less the gift of salvation. This morning God has already shown me immeasurable blessings despite my recklessness and disobedience. I am humbled, to say the least. I’m reminded of the words of the Psalmist when he cries out, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (8:4). Because I am nothing and so utterly undeserving this morning (as with all mornings), Christ is all the more magnified.
Yes, today is the day that we vaguely try to remember the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, but the day would be completely without meaning if we did not dwell on the death of Jesus the Christ as well. Today symbolizes the beginning of an epic chapter in human history that would turn out to be the climax of all existence; today symbolizes the day in which God put into action his divine plan for the redemption of humanity. Our Savior is born today. And that baby that appears in nativity scenes all across the world will be our bloody, bruised, and suffering Savior who would be nailed to a cross and left for dead.
Jesus’ birth was planned from eternity past, from before the earth was created—and his death on the cross along with that. We need to remember that Jesus was born to die. That’s right. He was supposed to go to the cross, he was supposed to bear the physical torment, and he was supposed to take upon his shoulders the sins of the world. Jesus—God incarnate—humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. Why? Because it was part of the Father’s plan, and it’s because of the Father’s overwhelming love for us. Our Lord, who is just as terrible in his graciousness as he is in his wrath, provided a way out for us.
So today as we celebrate a day off from work, or school, or life in general, let us not forget about our Savior’s birth and the cross that follows. Let us remember the cost of our sins and rejoice in the gift of grace that God provided for us. Let us give our utmost praises to our God who saved us from deserved wrath and redeemed us to himself through Christ. Live this day for Christ because he purchased us with his blood.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, 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.”