Monday, December 24, 2012

The Paradox of Christmas


At our Christmas Eve service tonight, we will sing the song, Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus. I love this song. It was penned by Charles Wesley and displays the heart of someone who longs to be united with Jesus. It expresses the idea that while we know Jesus is with us every day, we long for the day when we are with Him in His fullness and glory. Among the many aspects of this song that I appreciate is the paradox that is expressed in the second verse: 

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King.
Born to reign in us forever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Jesus was born as a child, yet He was a King. Just think about that. The eternal God was born into human flesh. And shepherds and wise men came to bow at the feet of a baby. They were moved to worship an infant. Why? Because it had been revealed to them that this young child was the King of all Kings. But actually, the paradox of this baby born to deliver people from sins goes much deeper than even this song says.

The paradox of Christmas is that the eternal second member of the Trinity would humble Himself to become one of creation. The paradox is that the One who created the trees would one day come to die on one of them. That the One who holds the power of the universe in His hands would willingly put Himself into subjection to the Roman soldiers at the hands of the Jewish people to pay for their sins. The paradox of Christmas is that the story isn't about a little baby. It's about a baby that would grow into a toddler who would become a boy who then would grow up to be a man who would go to a cross to pay for sins, even though He never sinned.

It's mind-boggling to think that the only person who ever lived who did not sin is the One who had to die for sins. But maybe that's the point of the story of Christmas. That grace came to life. That mercy became visible. That today we can celebrate the salvation of our souls. As the song says, now His eternal spirit can rule our hearts and we can be raised up by His sufficient merit. It is because of this that we gather to praise the baby that was born.

At church yesterday morning, I showed this video. Igniter Media does a fabulous job of displaying in a video format the paradox of Christmas. Enjoy and I hope you each have a wonderful Christmas Eve celebrating with your family and friends.

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