Christmas is usually a time of great joy for everyone around the world. Except for the “holiday weight” that accompanies the festival, everything else makes it usually the best time of the year. Christians celebrate it as one of their most important festivals, because it commemorates the birth of the Saviour of the world in human form. However, what if we look at the festival from the Divine perspective? If God becomes man, is it a matter of celebration for Him, or is it His humiliation?
Imagine you being asked to live the life of a mosquito. Your place of birth: may be a dirty pool or sewer water. Your constant battle in life: looking for food, getting tired and surviving the attack from predators. Your end: the tummy of a fly or a bird, suffocation by Mortein, or electrocution through the now famous electric insect-killer. How does such a life (and death) appear to you?
Now consider the historical record of the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ. He was born in Bethlehem – one of the most insignificant towns in Israel. His parents were ordinary people with his dad being a simple carpenter. At the time of His birth, they couldn’t find a proper room for the delivery, so Jesus was born in a manger – a place where cattle and horses feed and where it usually stinks of dung. Soon after His birth, His parents had to escape for Egypt because King Herod had come to know of the newborn King and wanted Him killed. He had to be fed, played with and put to sleep like any other normal child. As He grew up, He had the usual struggles of feeling hungry, getting tired and working to feed His family. When He started proclaiming His Kingdom and His authority over the universe, His own people ridiculed Him and devised plans to get Him killed. He was eventually handed over to the Romans who ordered Him to be crucified. Before crucifixion, He was tortured, mocked, spat at, and crowned with thorns. He committed no crime, yet He was nailed to the cross as a criminal. If Christ is the Son of God indeed, this is blatant humiliation of God in the sight of everything that He Himself created. The question is – Why did He go through all this?
No person likes to be humiliated. And a holy God who is the Creator of heaven and earth would certainly separate Himself from any form of humiliation. However, if such humiliation would not only glorify Him but also benefit mankind, would God choose to do it? What if such humiliation was the only means through which mankind could be reconciled to God? What if such humiliation was necessary for the penalty of your sin to be paid in full? What if such humiliation was the only way to secure your entrance to heaven? Would a loving God condescend for you?
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
2 Corinthians 5:21
He (God) made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.