(Originally posted 12-27-17)
Ever have one of those songs that so perfectly sums up the Gospel that it leaves you a mess every time you hear it? I’ve got one that I play every year at Christmastime: Bebo Norman’s “Born To Die.” It’s getting a little older now but it’s one of those must-listen to songs when I start to contemplate the true meaning of the season. The title really says it all...a baby Born To Die; this is the reason we celebrate and we take time to remind ourselves once again.
I don’t think Christmas can be looked at and fully appreciated without considering the cross. The cross gives perspective to the cradle. Both are physical representations of the beginning and the end of Jesus’ mission on Earth. Further, Christ’s coming into the world has an ultimate purpose and design. He would live His life on mission for one goal: the salvation of humanity.
Of course everyone is born into this world with the anticipation of death. None of us avoids death or gets to cheat it. But when we consider the life of Jesus, we see something not common to the rest of us. In His divinity, He could have chosen not to die. He could have taken another path. He could have chosen not to set foot in our world in the first place.
But He didn’t.
He put on a clothing of flesh. He obeyed the will of the Father. He came to accomplish the one thing none of us could ever do: to usher in peace with God through the redemption of His blood.
[Jesus Christ] who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8
Returning once again to that favorite song of mine, Born To Die, it’s the bridge lyrics which are particularly compelling. They get me all weepy-eyed as I try to fully contemplate what Jesus’ arrival really means:
To break the chains of guilt and sin
To find us here, to pull us in
So we can join in heaven's song
And with one voice around the throne
I cannot know what you are experiencing this holiday season. But I do know what we all collectively experience if we allow ourselves to be drawn in once again to this story. We ultimately have a hope that nothing on this Earth can take away from us or steal. We have the hope that Jesus did come to be born, lived a spotless life, and went to the cross for the penalty of sin you and I deserved to pay. Beyond that, Jesus was raised to life again and going from the cradle to the cross, He now sits at the right hand of the Father; exalted in glory.
Bebo’s song points to this hope. One day as one voice, we will sing around the throne. All will be made right and we will be with our Heavenly Father, rejoicing in His presence. Christmas is the ushering in of this hope; the weary world rejoices because our Savior is born!
I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas season. My prayer is that God would show Himself to you as you spend time seeking Him and His presence during these days. I love you much!