He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. – Isaiah 53:3
When we think of the first Christmas it usually brings to mind happy thoughts – the birth of Hope, the dawn of redeeming grace, promises of peace – and it’s very good to reflect on these things. But there’s an aspect of sadness associated with the first Christmas that’s also good to reflect on.
We think of the trauma of human birth, the harsh conditions of the manger…we remember that soon after His birth Herod would slaughter the small children of Bethlehem hoping that Christ would be among the dead. And we remember that later still the crowds would be shouting, “Crucify Him!”
We think of a Holy God who laid aside His privileges as the Most High to clothe Himself in human flesh, who first dwelled among sinners, then later as 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, would be made sin so that we would be made righteous.
Finally we think of how great our sin, and how fallen our souls must be, that God Himself needed to personally come to save us.
This Christmas we give thanks for the sadness of Christmas. We’re thankful first that we see our true condition as sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, because it gives us a greater appreciation of the gift of grace. Then secondly we’re thankful for our Lord and Savior who pitied us, and loved us, and came to save us.