Hollywood seems to enjoy those movies where people switch bodies. A kid playing an adult, an adult playing a kid, or one gender playing another all become plot devices that can be used for comedy, or perhaps even poignancy. One movie that many people remember is the Tom Hanks movie “Big” where a child is switched into an adult body. He gets a job with a toy company and adds the mind of a child in an adult body to the planning and development of toy for the company. This idea of one person in another person’s body fascinates people and we can be sure that Hollywood will keep cranking out movies like that.
It is a belief of Christians that God came down to earth as a man…well, as a baby to begin with. We celebrate that birth at Christmas. It is, perhaps, the ultimate body switch, because God Himself came to earth in the form of a human being. Incarnation. We believe that God was in man reconciling the world to Himself. Jesus, born as a baby, was God the Son. Jesus was born on earth to bring fellowship between man and God through His death on the cross. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
It is a basic understanding of Christianity that Jesus was born to bring reconciliation between man and God. That reconciliation would come about because Jesus would die on the cross. His blood would bring peace. There are times that doesn’t make sense to me. Surely, God could have done it in a much easier way; a much nicer way. Yet, the history of His dealings with the people of Israel showed that when He worked with people that way, it didn’t stick. They took God’s law and made it a burden on themselves and others. They didn’t share God’s love with all people; they didn’t even share it with all the Jews. God became a strict taskmaster who would zap someone because they didn’t tithe their mint leaves exactly right or they didn’t perform the ceremonial washing of the hands before eating. To the Pharisees and the Sadducees, God was the ultimate taskmaster, trying to find ways to kick people out of the company instead of welcoming all into His loving fellowship.
But God was pleased that all the fullness of God would dwell in Jesus. He truly was God the Son. He loved us so much that He was pleased to send Jesus to the cross so that we could have fellowship with Him. It was the cross that showed us how seriously God takes sin. It was the cross that showed us how much God loves us. It was on the cross where Jesus took all the penalty for sin on Himself so that we could receive mercy and grace. Christmas leads to the cross. The cross leads to reconciliation with God. While we celebrate the birth of a baby at Christmastime, we must look towards God’s endgame and realize that He prepared Jesus for the cross. He was the one working to bring reconciliation between mankind and Himself. If you want to please God, be reconciled to Him. If you want to please God, accept His mercy that forgives your sins, and accept His grace that gives you power over sin.
Oh God, we need You so much. You provided the way for us to be in fellowship with You by coming to earth in the form of a baby. You provided the way of reconciliation with Yourself by His shed blood. Help us to live a reconciled life in fellowship with You. Help us to spread this good news to all people.