P. Samuel Manoharam
Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible nature – His eternal power and divinity – has been clearly demonstrated by the marvellous display of His mighty works in creation. But while sin obscured and even blinded man’s spiritual vision, God sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, in human form, born of a woman, of the seed of David (Gal.4:4). In Jesus, God was manifested in the flesh (1Tim.3:16). Christ Jesus was true God and true Man. He was God Incarnate.
Prior to His incarnation, He, the Eternal Word, existed as God. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” But since man in his fallen condition could not comprehend Jesus’ equality with God, He, the Logos, emptied Himself of His divine glory and came into this world in the form of a man. In classical Greek, logos was the word used to denote the outward form by which the inward thought was made known. As the Logos (Word) made flesh, Jesus Christ was and is the visible expression and manifestation of the invisible God. The Word was made flesh. The invisible became the visible.
In Christ Jesus, divinity and humanity were united and fused. Jesus is the image (visible manifestation) of the invisible God, because in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Col.1:15,19). Jesus reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature upholding the universe by His word of power (Heb.1:3). The humanity of Jesus was a perfect humanity.
Man Moved Away From God
A key theme of Christmas is that God became man. Why? Because, even as man was made by God in His own image, man’s sin separated him from God. In due time, God wanted to restore him to his original state by redeeming him from his sins. Man’s original life was that of a sinless being, made in the image of God.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “Just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” But man’s wilful disobedience led him away from God and there was a great barrier between God and humanity.
Birth Of Jesus
In the fullness of time, more than two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ was born in this world to reclaim the human race. Galatians 4:4,5 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
It was in this background that Jesus Christ was born to a young virgin, Mary. When He was born, Jesus was named Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.” In the birth of Christ Jesus, the Eternal Word became flesh. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The joy of Christmas is reflected in the message that, through Christ’s birth, God will be with us through all of life’s circumstances and will finally redeem us from the very presence of sin. When Jesus was born, the first people to hear the glorious message of His birth were the shepherds, who were told by the angel, “Fear not!” The Baby was born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes.
The true message of Christmas for our hurting and troublesome world is love, kindness and humility. Before Jesus was born, the angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary, “Fear not, the Lord is with you.” In other words, it means “Peace be with you.” This is the message of Christmas even to-day.
All glory be to God on high,
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men
Begin and never cease.
Let the power of Jesus make us what we ought to be; let His blood cleanse our hearts and make us free; let His love fill our souls and give us divine joy and peace – today and for evermore.