Some things are too majestic and wondrous to be explained. Some things are too vast, too overwhelming, and too epic to put into words. For those moments we need stories, images, and metaphors to help us. They help us capture some of the essence of the experience.
The Bible is the story of God. That is epic. That is too much to fully put into words. Even the fullness of the Scripture provides for us only a glimpse at His greatness. So when it comes to the “Christmas” story, we are looking at a slice of what is already just part of His story.
The birth of Jesus Christ is so rich in meaning that we could never exhaust its meaning and statement. The apostle Paul adds his description of its worth with these words:
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:4-7
Paul says God sent His Son into this world in very specific way, at a specific time, and for a specific purpose.
He was born of a woman
Jesus could have come into this world in any number of ways. God could have sent Him in any way that He pleased. But it pleased Him that He would be born of a woman. He would enter life on earth the same way that every other man and woman has. He would take on the tent of skin and live among the creation. He would feel what we felt. He would hurt like we hurt. He would show man the glory of the Father. He would be man.
He would be born under the law
Jesus was born at a time when the law still reigned as the ruling covenant. It was the way that man related to God. Righteousness was defined by the law. Evil was defined by the law. Blessing and curses were defined by the law. The way to forgiveness, atonement, and the removal of guilt was defined by the law. To know God was to know the law. To follow God was to follow the law.
He was born to redeem those who were under the law
There is no real life when you relate to someone because you have to. There is no love when the relationship is based on a duty, obligation, and fear. There is no open-heart relationship when you are driven by guilt and the hope of appeasing someone. For many, that is what faith in God had become. It was never what God wanted. It was never His intention that man relate to Him by following a list or rules, trying to be good enough, or knowing enough of all things good and evil. That kind of relating only leads to an existence of greater guilt, shame, and trying harder. That kind of relating only creates captives, prisoners, and people blind to the glory and greatness of God.
It is for this reason that Jesus comes. In a public worship gathering one day, Jesus reads these words…
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
Thinking about our sin through a lens of the law only leads to hopelessness. Thinking about our sin through a lens of law makes me a greater captive. Jesus introduces something brand new. Instead of law, there is love. There is forgiveness. There is cleansing. There is righteousness by faith. There is now intimacy with God apart from the law.
By His life, Jesus fulfills the law. He lives righteous fulfills what is demanded. He lays down His life and fulfills what is required for payment of man’s sin.
He institutes a new covenant!
Life now comes by faith! Man can be free by receiving what has been done by Jesus! Man can experience the fullness of God’s favor, intimacy, and love! He can know God as a son adopted into the family!
As I take this in personally and humbly I can experience the freedom from “have to” and “ought to”. I can be free from the pressure to perform. I can be free from being captive to the law. I become a son. And even more, I receive all that comes with being son. I receive the inheritance.
All that belongs to the Son of God’s is now mine. All that is God’s is now mine. I am free!
The heart humbled by this wonder cries out in gratefulness, “Abba Father! / Daddy!”
Liberty has come!
Healing has come!
Favor has come!
The year of the Lord is here!
The epic has happened in me! Let us live now as storyboards of this grace. Let us now live as sons of the Most High! Let us now live free!
See also: How to Have a “Mary” Heart at Christmas