Christmas 2013: How do you both reject and accept the same thing?
In a way, that’s what Jesus does.
Jesus rejects grief and sorrow as ways for the world but accepts them as ways for himself. He transfers our griefs and our sorrows to himself.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to identify peoples’ problems from a distance? Critics excel at being critical from a distance: the political analyst, the talk show host, the editorialist, the grouchy neighbor, the jealous classmate, the whispering colleague, and occasionally even the disgruntled church member!
We are highly skilled at calling out others for their problems – an exercise usually calculated to boost our own esteem, convincing ourselves how clearly we see the problems of others. But we are not so skilled at jumping in to the problems of others.
Calling out, but not jumping in – but that approach never does much to resolve problems!
Jesus . . . he not only called out the world for its problems, he also jumped in and made the world’s problems his own.
He saw our sorrows from a distance, from his very distant thrown in heaven, and then, as the heavenly king, he did the unthinkable – he jumped in, he came to earth, he bore our problems up close. (Is. 53:4)
He entered our world in a cattle’s trough, and proceeded to a criminal’s cross. There he was wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).
For this reason, Jesus has not gone down in history as the great Sympathizer, one who sees and sympathizes from a distance, but as the great Savior, who was determined to go to the root of our problems, our sins, and bear them away personally to the killing tree.
It’s the only way to deal with problems. And Jesus was the only one who could have done it.
And he did!
Christ, the Savior, is born! Rejoice!