I woke up to news of yet another murder in our city. A man had killed his girlfriend and stuffed her body into an unlocked car in another city. Drunken people in our city got into cars, drove them at reckless speeds, crashed into others, and killed innocent people. These were all someone’s children.
Recently, a video appeared on Twitter showing the reconciliation of one of the families separated at the border. The small children no longer recognized their parents and would not go to them. The mother and father wept with broken hearts. I can’t even imagine their pain.
Human trafficking occurs all around us, but we don’t often recognize it, because the traffickers have learned ways to blend in. They openly traffic for abuse and sexual harm the runaway minors they have snared and the people they have captured at our borders and enslaved – horrific realities.
Our world is often ugly. It’s sometimes difficult to see the beauty, because our media focuses on the awful darkness hidden away in our corners. It’s often unbearable.
This is why the beauty of Jesus so astonishes our hearts, moving us to tears. Who would want to leave the comforts of an existence with the Father for all eternity and come down here, right in the middle of our vulgar mess, to be born a human being and to live with all the discomforts and horrors we face each day?
But doubly, who would want to leave that blissful state to take on the intentional mission of dying a gruesome and tortuous death and voluntarily paying for the sins of us all?
Neither of these are an assignment any of us would choose.
C.S. Lewis wrote some eloquent words about this:
“In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down;…down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature he has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him.”
“But supposing God became man—suppose our human nature which can suffer and die was amalgamated with God’s nature in one person—then that person could help us. He could surrender His will, and suffer and die, because He was man; and He could do it perfectly because He was God . . .But we cannot share God’s dying unless God dies; and He cannot die except by being a man, that is the sense in which He pays our debt and suffers for us what He Himself need not suffer at all.”
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
“How thankful I am that when God became a man He did not choose to become a man of iron nerves that would not have helped weaklings like you and me nearly so much.”We cannot share God’s dying unless God dies; and He cannot die except by being a man, that is the sense in which He pays our debt and suffers for us what He Himself need not suffer at all. CS Lewis Click To Tweet
Today I pondered a discussion recorded in Isaiah that occurred between the Father and the Son before time began. Here we see glimmers of the wonder that was to occur when Christ appeared.
Then I compared this discussion to the fulfillment detailed in Philippians 2. To better comprehend all that God had promised and then had done, I printed the texts side by side. Then I drew lines to connect the prophecy with the fulfillment described in the New Testament passage.
This simple act of drawing lines from the prophesy to the fulfillment was a great blessing to me as I saw the foreknowledge and deliberation that went into Jesus’ sacrifice. I know it will bless you, too.
Together, these two passages show us what Jesus’ motives were as he lived and died and rose. We also see clearly that he knew, submitted to, and embraced the mission to save us, regardless of the pain, discomfort, and defilement of ugly human existence.
Jesus, though he had existed eternally in the form of God, didn’t hold onto that reality to use it for his own advantage.
Instead, he looked after our interests and not his own. He counted us as more significant than himself, and in agreement with and submission to the Father, he became a man, emptying himself to be born a human and obediently to die a gruesome death, even one on a cross.
Thank God for such a Savior who came into such a fallen world to save us! What would we do without him? He’s our only hope!
The C.S. Lewis quotes were obtained here and have this origin: The Quotable Lewis, pp. 327-332. Excerpts taken from Perelandra, The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, Miracles, Mere Christianity, Letters of C.S. Lewis, and The Last Battle.