I wrote previously about the challenge when God doesn’t answer our difficult questions. Often, we think about the difficult questions of life from the perspective of pain, suffering, death, etc. Yet, there are other significant questions which we sometimes overlook. For instance, when Adam and Eve sinned, why didn’t God abandon the whole human experiment and write off His creation? It seems it cost Him more to redeem the world than it did to create it in the first place.
One morning recently, while driving my kids to school, my son brought up the subject of Christmas. In trying to explain what it must have been like for Jesus, I asked him how he would feel about becoming an ant. I said; “imagine you were watching an ant-hill, and you saw the ants fighting and destroying each other. Imagine the only way to save them was for you to become an ant and show them how to live right. Would you do so knowing that the same ants you were trying to save would turn on you and kill you? Would you do it if you knew you would have to remain an ant forever?” He looked at me baffled and said defiantly, “no, I wouldn’t become an ant!”
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would choose to become an ant to save ants, especially on those terms. But what’s mind-blowing is that the gap between God and human beings is infinitely wider than the gap between human beings and ants. Knowing this, have you ever wondered why God cares so much about human beings? He doesn’t need anything from us and we have no intrinsic value that didn’t come from Him. Yet, Jesus chose to become a human being knowing fully well that we would kill Him and He would have to remain a man forever. This decision raises an important question we ought to ponder. Why would Jesus, through whom the universe was created, choose to lay aside His divine privileges and condescend to become a human being?
The Bible provides a profound answer. Jesus’ decision to become one of us was compelled by love [John 3:16] and made while we were God’s enemies [Romans 5:10]. It was love that compelled Him to continue with the human experiment even though He knew we would fail Him, repeatedly. So, Jesus, unaided by divine privileges, became a man and died a painful death to pay the price for all our sins, freeing us from sin’s consequences. He took upon Himself the curse that was ours from Eden, and in its place, He gave us the blessing and inheritance that was His before the foundation of the earth [Ephesians 1:3-14].
So, if Someone this powerful loves you this much, why wouldn’t you want to know Him and reciprocate that love in any way you could? If it’s true that only love can compel a response of love, can you see the reason God loved us first [1 John 4:19]? Furthermore, how might knowing and experiencing the love of God affect us? Paul once prayed that “we would have the ability, along with all God’s people, to comprehend how wide, long, high and deep the love of Christ is… and know this love that surpasses knowledge…” [Ephesians 3:18-20]. I try to pray this prayer as often as I can because my comprehension of this love is still fairly dim.
At present, I can honestly say my life’s goal is to know this God, who loves me this much, so intimately that His love transforms my life in tangible ways. I want the revelation of His love for me to govern how I think, what I say and what I do. I want it to dictate how I treat others and face the challenges of life. I want to live in the hope that flows from the love of God. Because, if God loves me this much, then what could possibly separate me from His love [Romans 8:31-39]? I’m determined to make the answer to this last question the anchor for all my hope and security.
Throughout history, human beings have often sought to place their hope in counterfeit gods. Whether it’s money, fame, power, status, etc., none of these things provides real security. The wealthy, powerful and famous people still have insecurities because nothing they have exempts them from fear, worry and anxiety. These things are part of the human experience and common to all of us. As such, we’re all in need of the only Saviour there is, Jesus Christ, whether we choose to accept Him or not. If you don’t think you need a Saviour, does anything keep you up at night?
For many of us, our present circumstances aren’t great. We’re well-acquainted with pain, suffering, grief, disappointment, depression and so on. The message of Christmas is that there is hope, hope that isn’t in vain [Isaiah 49:14-23]. God has invaded our depraved world. He has come to save us from all our troubles [Psalm 34:19]. We may not be experiencing this salvation in our present circumstance, but since we’ve already seen His love for us, we can be confident that one day, we will experience all that God has promised us. As such, everything that plagues us today is transitory [2 Corinthians 4:17-18].
Consequently, I invite you to pause and reflect on the message of Christmas. Christianity alleges that the God who made you became a human being like you to save you from your fears and insecurities, including sin and death [Luke 1:68-75]. If this is true, then God went to unfathomable lengths to display His love for you. This Christmas, He’s inviting you to open your heart to His transforming love which extinguishes all fears [1 John 4:18]. Will you do that today, if you haven’t already done so?