Christ Himself was like God in everything… But He gave up His place with God and made Himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. Philippians 2:6-7
Why? Why did Jesus travel so far? I was asking myself that question when I was listening to sleet hit my windows last night and I was meditating on what aspect of Advent I wanted to focus on.
Jesus gave up His place with God and came down. Hmm. And what a world He left! Our most amazing castles wouldn’t compare to a shack from where He came from. Earth’s finest cuisine would be walnuts on Heaven’s table. Yet, Jesus came in the form of a baby.
Jesus came because He loves to be with the ones He loves. A doctor told a remarkable story of a love like this: a man had been burned and disfigured in a fire while attempting to save his parents from a burning house, but he couldn’t get to them. They perished. He mistakenly interpreted his pain as God’s punishment. The man would not let anyone see him — not even his wife.
She went to a plastic surgeon, for help. He told her not to worry. “I can restore his face.”
The wife was unenthused. Her husband had repeatedly refused any help. She knew he would again.
Then why her visit? “I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him! If I can share his pain, maybe he’ll let me back in his life.”
The doctor was shocked. He denied her request but was so moved by her love that he went to speak with her husband. Knocking on the man’s bedroom door, he called loudly. “I’m a plastic surgeon, and I can restore your face.” No response. “Please come out.” Again there was no answer.
Still speaking through the door, the doctor told the man of his wife’s proposal. “She wants me to disfigure her face, to make her face like yours in the hope that you let her back into your life. That’s how much she loves you.” There was a brief moment of silence, and then, ever so slowly, the doorknob began to turn.
The way the woman felt for her husband is the way God feels about us. But He did more than make the offer. He took on our face, our disfigurement. He became like us. Just look at the places He was willing to go: feed troughs, carpentry shops, badlands, and cemeteries. The places He went to reach us show how far He will go to touch us.
He loves to be with the ones He loves. That love is why we celebrate Christmas with amazement. Hallelujah!