There is no doubt in any Christians mind that what Jesus did while on the cross was a pivotal point in history. We stand in awe of our Creator God, who was willing to hang on a cross after a severe beating, until dead. He even went so far as to forgive his tormentors and murders while they were still mocking him and spitting at him.
We call that the Ultimate Sacrifice. And we all benefited from that history changing sacrifice.
But was that The Ultimate Sacrifice? It is written that he died once for our sins, so we can only assume that if there was another sacrifice, it wasn’t one of death. It would have been one of a physical life.
John 1:1-10 tells us that Jesus was the Word that was with God from the beginning. Jesus was the God of the Old Testament that spoke to the prophets and spoke the universe and all that was in it, into existence. When God spoke, it happened.
For Jesus to become human, he first had to come up with that idea, to think it through, and then be willing to strip him self of the glory he had from eternity, and become not only human, but a helpless child in a womb of a very young and inexperienced mother who was still a card carrying member of the broken human family.
Of course, the Holy Spirit, God, was with him the whole time. There was never a time Jesus was not in constant communion with the Father. But to allow him self to be divested of all things God, that was a sacrifice for humanity of galactic and biblical proportions! It was unheard of, never before attempted! Knowing he will die by the hands of humanity, he still allowed him self to be “down graded” to human, to a fetus, to be carried and born a child of a poor family. From a being who owned it all, literally, to owning nothing.
So what does that mean to you and me? Everything! We praise God left and right for his sacrifice on the cross, and he should be praised! But with Christmas coming up, I think there is a lot more to his first coming as God/Man than we first see. It’s a sacrifice worth paying attention to!
If Jesus had not become fully man, we would never have a God that came down all the way, and he would not have died on the cross. So he had to become fully man, he had to die on the cross. Death had already called his name the day we sinned. Actually, earlier than that if you read Revelation 13:8: “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (or cosmos).” He decided to become flesh and die, so we can put on immortality and live.
Now why do I call it The Ultimate sacrifice? It is true that he made that death sacrifice on the cross, but the ultimate one? Is death the ultimate one? As a human being, we see death as permanent, so we think of it as an ultimate sacrifice (if we made that sacrifice). Or in some cases, we call it a “permanent solution to a temporary problem” we have trouble facing.
What makes it ultimate to God? After all, death was not permanent, but a beginning to eternal life! Resurrection was just a few days away! He was to become immortal again; back to his old glory he had once before! Then what was so “ultimate” and for that matter, “sacrifice” about that?
And what is so ultimate about his becoming humanity? Because, though he died, he did live again, with more glory, but when he became human…
Pay attention now….
Read this carefully…
HE NEVER STOPPED BEING FLESH; HUMAN!
That’s right!! Though he was resurrected back to incorruptible glory, he was still human even after he was raised again!
Remember, he told the disciples and specifically to Thomas in Luke 24:39 “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
The Message bible says it this way: “Don't be upset, and don't let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it's really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn't have muscle and bone like this." As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet.”
Muscle and bone? Flesh? Jesus, with what we would consider as "corruptible" flesh? Apparently so. Jesus' flesh is, of course, incorruptible, and we will share in that incorruptibly of Jesus at his coming! Does that mean that Jesus has a naked human form like us? Yes. And does that mean that Jesus sits at the right hand of God naked? I have no idea. But he could if he wanted to I suppose! But it sure does bring up an interesting thought of humanity and our reality of our created being.
So we have the good news that Jesus is still human, still flesh, yet he is still fully God. God has always been with us the whole time! (Emanuel, God with us) Look at the humanity around you. Do you now see a different humanity? You should. Jesus became human, flesh, for our sake, made that Ultimate Sacrifice, making a permanent solution to an eternal problem. He brought humanity; flesh, to sit at the right hand of the Father. And the Father is sitting right next to Humanity in Jesus’ humanity!
When the Father looks at Jesus (His son in whom he is well pleased) he sees humanity. And when he sees humanity, he sees Jesus!
Now what do you see in the manger? Jesus? God? Humanity? Yes, all three. He is the creator of all the created order, so when we see this baby in a manger, we see all of creation in one place, though he was not created.
Now that does not mean we are God of course, but what a wonderful position humanity has been put in to! The moment Jesus became a physical human being, all of humanity had a physical connection to God, the Creator of the universe! In fact, all of creation now has a connection!
So believe that. Take seriously the part in your connection to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for Jesus has overcome the world! The whole world! When Jesus as man did not sin, Man (in Jesus) did not sin! Though we (man) do sin, Jesus became that Man for us, in our stead, to be a sinless being. That is why God does not hold sin against man, because Man (The Second Adam; Jesus) did not sin for God to hold it against him! 2 Cor. 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them.” Notice, reconciling was to the world, not to just certain men.
Because of The Ultimate Sacrifice, all I can say now is:
“Merry Christmas to all of humanity, and to all of humanity, good night”