Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

The Reason for the Season

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

5th December 2010

Do you plan on taking the time this Christmas to tell anyone about the reason for Christmas? If so, what will you tell them?

Although we usually meditate on the birth of Jesus at this time of the year, His purpose in coming to earth was not to give us the sweet picture of a baby in a Bethlehem manger. That little baby was born to die for you and for me and thus pay for the forgiveness of our sins. He was born to die on the Cross that we might be reconciled to God.

That is what Christmas is all about.

People rarely think of the Cross at Christmas but in Philippians 2, Paul connects the two thoughts. As Paul writes about God becoming a man, he goes on to express the ultimate reason God chose to take this amazing action.

‘And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!’ (Philippians 2:8)

That word "appearance" is the Greek word schema. This was the word that was used to depict a king who exchanged his kingly garments for a brief period of time for the clothing of a beggar. When Jesus came to earth, it really was a moment when God Almighty shed His glorious appearance and exchanged it for the clothing of human flesh.

For the sake of our redemption, God laid aside all of His radiant glory, took upon Himself human flesh, and was manifested in the very likeness of a human being. This is the true story of a King who traded His kingly garments and took upon Himself the clothing of a servant.

But the story doesn't stop there. Jesus, our King who exchanged His royal robes for the clothing of flesh, loved us so much that He ‘… humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!’

The word "humbled" is the Greek word tapeinao, and it means ‘to be lowly, and to be willing to stoop to any measure that is needed’.

This describes the attitude God had when He took upon Himself human flesh.

We can’t imagine how much humility would be required for God to shed His glory and lower Himself to become like a member of His creation. Or the greatness of God's love that drove Him to divest Himself of all His splendour and become like a man.

The word "obedient" suggests that this was not a pleasurable experience that Jesus looked forward to in anticipation. To humble Himself to this extent required Jesus' deliberate obedience. In Greek the word "obedient" is hupakouo, and presents the picture of someone who is under authority, listening to what his superior is saying, and then carrying out their orders.

You see, even Jesus in His humanity, had to come to this place of obedience.

The word "to" is from the Greek word mechri, and means ‘to such an extent’. That seems sufficient to emphasise the point of His sacrifice, but the verse goes on to say:

‘…even death on a cross!’

The word "even" is the Greek word de, which emphatically means EVEN!

Not only was He prepared to completely give Himself in death, but was willing to suffer the shame of the cross. For Jesus to humble Himself to the point of death, EVEN the death of the Cross, demonstrates how much He was willing to humble Himself to redeem you and me.

Just think of it:

  • Almighty God, clothed in radiant glory from eternity past;
  • Came to this earth formed as a human being in the womb of a human mother for one purpose;
  • So that He could one day die a miserable death on a Cross to purchase our salvation!

This was the reason Jesus came, this is the reason for the season.

So as we approach another Christmas, be sure to remember its real purpose.

That baby in a manger was God in the flesh. He was born to die for you and for me.

Jesus was so willing to do whatever was required in order to redeem us that He humbled Himself even to death on a Cross!

Have a good week pondering the reason for the season.

Pastor Barry

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