Tis the season for some good ole Christmas music, but with a twist 🙂
One of the images that comes to mind when we speak about Christmas is the image of Jesus as a baby. It is a tender yet striking image. Jesus as a new born, fresh from the womb, wrapped in swaddling cloth laying within a trough. It is in the centre of most nativity scenes. But we must be mindful to remember that is not where the image stops. The later part of Luke 2 tells us the story of when Jesus as a boy was found in the temple to be speaking to the teachers with wisdom beyond his years;
Luke 2:46-49 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress and he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
Jesus is not just a child that was born, he knew at a young age what his purpose was and he grew up with this in mind;
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Christmas is beautiful to us as it signifies the entrance of our Jesus into this world on the path to our redemption and his glory. Having accomplished his goal he is now to be considered the Lord Jesus Christ. Not the baby Jesus.
Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
At my church we have spent some time going through the gospel of John. There is much that can be said about what is written in John and maybe you will see more of that in the future. One thing I want to share today is this; Jesus was on a mission.
If you were to read John you can see clearly how Jesus interacts with the culture in a very purposeful way. He points out falsehood and calls out to others to trust in Him. That was his mission to redeem a people to himself. Which was the cost of the cross.
As we anticipate Christmas this year remember that this day means nothing without the cross. This holiday is only a significant holiday because it reminds us of Jesus Christ coming into the world on a mission. If there was no mission, or if He failed his mission, this day would mean nothing at all.
The mission was always to result in the cross. The cross was not an after thought but the very reason that Christ was born for. He entered the world knowing how it must end and determined to meet that end. Christmas is a foreshadowing and a light pointing us towards the cross. Both the manger and the cross is where Jesus’s love for us was displayed.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” – John 17:24
What does Jesus want this Christmas?
We can see the answer in his prayers. What does he ask God for? His longest prayer is John 17. The climax of his desire is in verse 24.
Among all the undeserving sinners in the world, there are those whom God has “given to Jesus.”
These are those whom God has drawn to the Son (John 6:44,64). These are Christians – people who have “received” Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives (John 1:12;3:17;6:3510:11,17-18;20:28). Jesus says he wants them to be with him.
Sometimes we hear people say that God created man because he was lonely. So they say, “God created us so that we would be with him.” Does Jesus agree with this? Well, he does say that he really want us to be with him! Yes but why? Consider the rest of the verse. Why does Jesus want us to be with him?
“…to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
That would be a strange way of expressing his loneliness. “I want them with me so they can see my glory.” In fact, it doesn’t expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness.
Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. WE, no he, are starving for something. And what Jesus want for Christmas is for us to experience what we were really made for – seeing and savoring his glory.
Oh, that God would make this sink in to our souls!
Jesus made us (John 1:3) to see his glory.
Just before he goes to the cross he pleads his deepest desires with the Father: “Father, I desire [I desire!] that they … may be with me where I am, to see my glory.”
But that is only half of what Jesus wants in these final, climatic verses of his prayer. I just said we were really made for seeing and savoring his glory. Is that what he wants – that we not only see his glory but savor it, relish it, delight in it, treasure it, love it?
Consider verse 26, the very last verse:
“I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
That is the end of the prayer. What is Jesus’s final goal for us? Not that we simply see his glory, but that we love him with the same love that the Father has for him: “that the love with which you [Father] have loved me may be in them.”
Jesus’s longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives:
Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.
What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most – to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son.
I appreciate the message they are trying to get through with this song. Unfortunately I was unable to find a official video so the one below is the song with the lyrics. Enjoy.
The below quote is from John Piper’s ’50 Reasons why Jesus came to die’ book you can download the full book here for free!
From the cross the Son of God cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). And by means of the resurrection, God the Father cries, “It was finished indeed!”
We often get so wrapped up in ‘stuff’ we just need more things! The goal of our lives is not to get as much things as possible it is to live it in such a way as to bring God glory. Are you wasting your life chasing after more ‘stuff’? Here is how not to.