December 25, 2020
Responding to “Christmas” – Philippians 2:6-11
Dr. Larry S. Lightner
Being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father –Philippians 2:8-11
At times we get carried away with the Christmas festivities and do not consider the choice Christ made for us. He chose to come to earth and be our sacrifice. We tend to read the story in the Scriptures – well some of us do –but spend the bulk of our time decorating with tinsel, stars, presents, and parties, and other gatherings that then mask the “reason for the season.”
We should never mask the purpose of Christ’s entrance into our world – to die for us, every one of us. Certainly, there is nothing so wrong with enjoying the season of Christmas. However, if we just celebrate in festivity, we miss what Christmas is all about.
How might we respond to the reflections of Advent?
By Honoring Jesus as our King and Sacrifice
Jesus humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. The mind-boggling truth of Christmas is that our Creator God, who formed the cosmos, became our sacrifice for sin. We can become complacent, almost thinking this to be normal; it should shock us every time we think about it!
A powerful picture of His humbleness is contained in the Last Supper before His crucifixion. Jesus wraps a towel around His waist, kneels, and washes His disciples’ feet (John 13:2-17). Peter is shocked at seeing his God humbling Himself to be the lowest servant. Are we shocked?
When we submit to Jesus we honor Him as King, but also as our personal sacrifice for sin. It is humbling to realize at Christmas and Resurrection Day (and every other day) the image of Christ is life changing for us.
By Sharing the Message Christ has for Everyone with Everyone
Jesus came to pay the price for the sin of the world (John 1:29). His rescue offer is for everyone, for all. All means all, and that is all, all means. People who cross our path not only need to hear that Jesus came to earth as a baby, but they also need to hear why. He came to rescue; to sacrifice Himself in our place.
We need to be a people that bring others to our church during Advent. However, that is incomplete. We need to pray for the unbelievers, the ones without hope, without any understanding of God’s love, without experience of God’s joy, without any sense of the peace God desires for them to have, and the hope still of Christ’s return.
The Advent season is not simply a tradition, it is the account of God Himself leaving His throne in heaven to save us. Advent shows us who our God is, what Christ was willing to do out of His love for us, His joy in serving us, and how He longs for humanity to have His peace.
There is hope still. After paying the price for our sin, Jesus resurrected to life. Those who believe in His name, confess their need of a Savior, and commit their life to Him are waiting in the sure hope of His returning again. He is coming as King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is coming for His own that all who belong to His Kingdom might live in eternity. He is coming to judge the lost who have rejected Him.
Deep is the love of Christ for us – not just at Christmas, but for all our days.
Lord Jesus we wait for you.
The link below is I Will Wait for You by Shane & Shane. The lyrics flow out of Psalm 130. What a heart-stirring song as we celebrate the Advent season.Shane & Shane: I Will Wait For You (Psalm 130) – YouTube
- for stepping down out of heaven fulfilling hope, acting in love, coming with joy, and offering His peace to us personally.