This Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Christ. Let us remember the story.

The world was created. A good and loving God had spoken it into existence. He created Adam, the first of the race of men, followed soon after by Eve. God walked and talked with his creation in the beginning; Creatures in perfect, unhindered communion with the Creator.

But we know the story. Communion with the creator wasn’t enough for Adam and Eve. Equality with God was something we longed for. We rebelled against him. The world was changed. A darkness entered into God’s good and perfect creation. A cancer ate away at the beauty he had loved. Blood was shed. Life was taken. Adam and Eve became mortal and would taste death. More than that, sin’s punishment was not only physical death, it was spiritual death. Worst of all, communion with loving, holy God was broken.

In his mercy, God sought after the hearts of men. He reached out to them when they were running away from him, in love with themselves and their rebellion, and drew them near to himself. He established his law with a chosen people, Israel. To them, he gave the law. This law revealed what it would take to come to rights with God again. It was a standard of perfection that holy God demanded. Israel was to obey this law to be a light to the rest of the world of what it looked like to be God’s people.

Israel would not. Could not. The sin passed down onto them from their fathers was too much for them to overcome. The weakness of Adam flowed through their veins. Time and again they turned away from God and cursed his name. Israel wasn’t the light to the world they were called to be.

God, in his love, reached out in love to them once again. This time, in a way never done before. In a way that could not have been imagined. God came to earth to them, to us. Not only did he come to us, but he came as one of us. Emmanuel, God with us.

God came to the earth in the form of a human baby, Jesus. It is at this time of the year that we celebrate this happening, this miracle of God in human flesh.

In Luke, we see that Jesus did what Israel did not. In reference to Jesus, The Scripture says he would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”Jesus was the light to the world that Israel was not.

In Philippians we see that Jesus did not do what man had always done. He did not seek to be equal with God. He played the role of Human as it was intended to be. “Christ Jesus who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

In the book of Matthew the angels tell us what Jesus would do. “He will save his people from their sins.” Jesus, fully God, would restore us to right relationship with himself. He would fulfill the law set for us, in our stead. He would obey the law in every way and do what we were unable to. The death that was our deserved penalty for sin would be suffered by Jesus. In our place, Jesus was crushed and bore all of humanity’s sin. He died a sinless man and was buried.

Thankfully, the story does not end there. He lay dead in the tomb for 3 days. But Jesus, being God and the giver of life, could not be held back by death’s usually permanent chains. He broke death on that third day. It was proven that He, indeed, was God. He walked out of the grave in the morning light and a new era had begun. Jesus had conquered death. Jesus’ resurrection from death is the action that we look to for hope. Our debt is paid, and our punishment has been poured out on Jesus. Jesus lived a life that revealed to us, the rest of the world, of what it looks like to be one of God’s people. We are demanded by Jesus to be like him, to follow him, to turn from our ways. We must choose whether we will follow Adam and the race of men to death and separation from loving God, or whether we will follow Jesus, and be as he was and is. When we strive to be like Jesus, and turn our backs on the race of men and answer the calling that God has asked us to fulfill, Jesus promises to restore our fellowship with God. We look to Jesus as the means by which we can stand before God in perfect communion once again.

This is the sweet hope that we have. I encourage you to reflect on these truths this Christmas season.

God is with us! God became one of us!