Christmas – God’s incomparable plan – João Bolzan
The story of Jesus is so simple that it can be easily told to a child. But it is also complex in revealing that Jesus is God but also man, Lamb and Lion, Prophet, Priest and King all at the same time.
Christmas is a manifesto of God’s incomparable plan, revealed in various parts of Scripture, one such Scripture is Hebrews 4: 14-16.
“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
It was part of God’s unsurpassed plan for Jesus to become “in our likeness” by “facing the same testings” (v.15). In the face of God’s everlasting and pure righteousness we would all be lost if there were no one “in our likeness” who was “tried in all things” and “without sin” stood in our place. The birth of Jesus is part of this unparalleled plan. Without Christmas we would be condemned to experience God’s justice without His loving mercy.
It was part of God’s incomparable plan for Jesus to be the sacrifice that would conquer death. Using Old Testament pictures, the author of Hebrews says that Jesus is the high priest and at the same time the sacrifice. The priest was the man who, in the Old Testament, was to approach God as closely as possible to offer sacrifice for the sin of the people so that they might be forgiven. Jesus is here presented as the “high priest” (between God and men) and equally as the sacrifice, which is absolute, perfect, and eternal. As a totally pure Lamb his sacrifice is absolute: it needs no complement, no penance, no new arrangements; as fully man, his sacrifice is perfect: one like us dying for everyone who believes; as fully God, his sacrifice is eternal: what he has done has transformed lives and changed history for ever.
It was also part of God’s plan for Jesus to bring us close to the throne of grace (v.16). We find in verse 16 a fantastic revelation: there is a throne of grace! The throne of grace exists because the high priest was born amongst us, He knows our temptations, and sympathises with our weaknesses. This is a message to those who are weak, discouraged, distressed, confused or lost: there is a throne of grace! Because of Jesus the Lion-Lamb, we can approach it “boldly”.
The effects of Christmas (Jesus among us) are transformative. Because of Christmas we can, in Christ, speak directly to God – and be heard. We can lift our hearts and, in Christ, worship the Lord. We can have our sins forgiven in Christ – and be sanctified. We can confess His name and be saved in Christ – forever.
And all of this came to happen so it could be said, “Your sins are forgiven.”