It is easy to get into the Christmas spirit, put up our trees and lights, sing our carols, and not meditate or even remember that our celebration is because of the humiliation of the eternal Son of God, co-equal with the Father in essence and substance.
This article isn’t meant to dampen your Christmas spirit, no. It is to direct your hearts and minds to spare a moment in your celebration to consider the unfathomable humiliation, sacrifice, and great love of Jesus for us in coming down to earth to be incarnate and born on Christmas day.
Let me share 2 points for your meditation:
- Christmas marks the beginning of the humiliation of the second person of the Trinity.
Though not the absolute beginning of his humiliation, that’ll be at conception. Yet, it is good for us to remember that the person who was born to us on Christmas is a self-conscious trinitarian person who at the same time with the father and the Spirit, subsists distinctly as the entire and undivided intelligence, will, and consciousness of the one living and true God. The entire undivided essence is in Jesus without remainder. He did not have more or less deity than the father or Spirit. He is absolutely and without qualification co-equal with the Father and has the same substance, power, and glory in precisely the same degree as the Father. He is exhaustively identical to the whole of the divine essence. It is this same Jesus, not another who subsists as the Divine essence that was in the womb of the virgin Mary. There is nothing in the Divine essence that is missing from all that He is or all that the Father is. It is He who was incarnate in the virgin Mary and was born to us on Christmas day.
- Christmas marks the beginning of the humiliation of the King of glory.
In the absolute beginning, God made the highest heaven to be the dwelling place for Him and His glory. Unlike the earth which was finished in 6 days, Heaven was completed in an instant and was immediately filled with glory and angelic hosts. It was in an instant populated with the hosts of heaven for worship around the throne of God having been placed in the immediate throne presence of the heaven temple to see the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit. When we speak of Christmas, we are speaking of the humiliation of the King of heaven. The heaven which by its very nature, is set ablaze by the glory of the Son of God. Isaiah in his vision of heaven narrates how the Seraphim, part of that heavenly host, encircle the throne of the Lord with ceaseless praise. They cry out “Holy, Holy, Holy” is the Lord God Almighty! And when John wrote his gospel account, he, inspired by the Spirit of Christ, commented that the one whom Isaiah saw on the throne, the one whose robe filled the heavenly temple, who Seraphs dared not look at and covered their eyes with a pair of wings and sang endless praise to is the same Jesus who was born on Christmas day (Jn 12:41). The one who was born on Christmas day was the one who declared in Isaiah 66:1 “…Heaven is My throne and the earth my footstool”. He is the King the sons of Korah addressed their verse to in Psalm 45:1. it is He that it is said of: “Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty! And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness” (Ps 45:3-4). He is the one whose throne is forever and ever (Ps 45:6). He is the one Paul spoke about in Col 1: 16 as the one by whom all things were created, and through whom all things were created, and for whom all things were created. And He was self-aware of His pre-incarnate splendor and glory even in the womb of Mary.
What humiliation. Angles bowed before Him, heaven and earth adored Him, and yet he came down to earth from heaven, the very God and Lord of all. He left a throne, crown, resplendent splendor, riches, and glory for a stable, stall, and mortal flesh.
The truth is no one can comprehend this. I can’t. I have never been this humiliated before. And even if I was, it doesn’t compare, because His humiliation was voluntary and exceedingly great.
I want to leave earth and go to heaven to see glory and splendor. I don’t comprehend why anyone would leave heaven to come to this filthy earth. I know people have left a good place for a less desirable place, but it’s usually because of some perceived benefits they lack like marriage or job opportunities. But Jesus Christ was altogether perfect and He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things and He isn’t served by human hands, as though He needed anything. So why?
One Christmas hymn captures it for me-
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour, All for love's sake becamest poor; Thrones for a manger didst surrender, Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor. Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour, All for love's sake becomes poor. Thou who art God beyond all praising, All for love's sake becamest man; Stooping so low, but sinners raising Heavenwards by thine eternal plan. Thou who art God beyond all praising, All for love's sake becamest man.
So as you celebrate this Christmas, remember who it is that was born.
Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.