“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”Isaiah 7:14
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
Immanuel – God with us. Who is this God that is with us?
As the course of history continues to show us, as a response to our waywardness, the Lord responds not as the world would – with distrust, disgust and devastation – but with grace, mercy and an overwhelming love.
Jesus Christ – God with us – is the one who bridges the chasm created by sin. He is the One who brings heaven and earth together. The cross was the effect of Christ’s audacious birth. Christ’s birth, which struck against the ways of society, introduced humanity to a King whose new regime was a Kingdom. Christ introduced kingdom living though His entrance onto the world’s stage – it was an entrance that would be paralleled by His exit – ridiculous and unbelievable.
Christ’s entrance: He was born in donkey poo, or at least surrounded by it. Christ’s exit: He rode on the back of a donkey as He prepared to take His place on center stage – the cross.
This is the God we are called to believe in. In Jesus, the fullness of God enters the human realm. The incarnation is the sacrificial giving of God to humanity. It is from the performance of Christ that the church, and thus humanity, witnesses the ultimate giving of self.
We believe, not because “a God” exists but because this God exists. Followers of Christ must travel past propositions and paradoxes toward a Person – someone good, loving and trustworthy. We must expect the unexpected for this God who not only entered into our midst as a newborn baby, but in continuing His unbelievable, mind-binding ways, committed the most unexpected act of history; He secured eternal life by being beaten and nailed to a tree.
Christ’s humbleness began at birth and extended all the way to His death on the cross. In Christ, the Kingdom of God becomes real through the weakness of its humble King who comes to humanity in our form – He became human. The Christmas miracle illumines the truth that this baby was born to die but in the process of His life, He brought peace. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, brought a whole new world order that is established and founded not on violence or aggression, but peace. With the God of the Bible we have to come to expect the unexpected. The Son of God is born in a manger? And then, after being pummeled nearly to death, as He hang there on the cross, drowning in His own blood, with His last breath He has the audacity to ask for His tormentors to be forgiven?! Oh this dude Jesus is straight up crazy!
Yeah, Jesus is crazy...crazy in love with us! This is the Christmas miracle.