We Have Experienced God
"In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.'
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.' And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."
We Have Experienced God
God came down to be a man.
To be relateable,
To be experienceable.
Until Christmas Day, God had only been experienced by a select few - and even their experiences were limited.
But not now.
God brought Himself down lower than we could have ever imagined.
Creator became creation
Just so we could experience Him.
We've already covered many verses in past posts about how Jesus is the perfect image of The Father and how He is the representation of everything The Father is.
So, instead, let us remember that this truly happened.
There was a date and time of His birth.
He had playmates growing up.
He experienced puberty and learning His craft as a carpenter.
He had friends.
He had family gatherings.
He experienced skinned knees, death of family members and friends, betrayal from close friends.
God experinced all of life's ups and downs
So we could experienced Him.
And then He died for our sin,
So we could be with Him forever.
These are real events, with real people testifying of their validity.
Jesus healed, comforted, taught, rebuked and lived with real people.
One of my favorite people in the Bible is His disciple John.
We see John as one of the two "sons of thunder." He was the youngest in the group and probably a hothead know-it-all.
Yet, John had a huge transformation.
When you read His later writings (John, 1-3 John, and Revelation), you can feel that the angry, know-it-all attitude is gone.
His writings are some of the most loving and endearing letters in all of scripture.
And to end this post, here's the introduction to 1st John, where he begins his plea to the church, that they would stay close to Jesus, love one another and would stay far away from sin.
His book begins with recounting the reality of Jesus' life, and how He can transform any life. It's one of my favorite passages, and I hope you enjoy it too.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete."
-1 John 1:1–4