“Behold Your God”
‘Behold Your God’
What comes to mind when you think of Christmas; presents, decorations, shopping, bustling, parties, family…? I think of these things. I enjoy the traditional elements of Christmas.
But these are (or should be) but the by-product of something much more thrilling, much more eternally significant. For those who know Christ, these are the expressions of an incomprehensible reality. Christmas is a man-made holiday with some pagan elements. But for believers, it is much more: the celebration of the incarnation. So come with me brother and sister in Christ, and “Behold Your God”.
That God would stoop to reveal Himself to man is incomprehensible. But the Old Testament is full of testimony of such communication. From Adam in Genesis through Malachi, God has spoken: through sacrifices, Noah’s Ark, the Passover, the mercy seat, and many prophets. But God’s ultimate communication of Himself is in a Son; His Son. What the Patriarchs anticipated, and the Prophets announced, was fulfilled in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Old Testament saints were saved by faith in the coming Christ, a faith completed in Christ and New Testament believers (Heb. 11:39,40). Never let it be thought that Old Testament saints were saved any other way. They were saved by faith in Christ. The Old Covenant revelation was partial. The New Covenant revelation in Christ is perfect. God Himself has put His “Selah” on it. He has spoken in His Son, with Whom He is well pleased. Hebrews 1:2,3 expounds this great truth. (1.) Christ is the possessor of God’s creation (heir to all things). (2.) Christ is the projector of God’s glory (the brightness of God’s glory). (3.) Christ is the personification of God’s self (express image of His person). (4.) Christ is the power of God’s order (upholding all things by the world of His power). (5.) Christ is the purifier of God’s people (when He by Himself had purged our sins). This is the Christ of Christmas, the Babe in whom dwells all the fullness of God.
God is not only revealed in the Son. He is revered in the Son. Christmas, the incarnation, is about the manifestation and glorification of God in Christ. All the fullness of God dwells in Christ He is no “lesser” God or mere God-like man. He is God of very God and worthy to be worshiped.
He is worthy by His Divine relationship. “He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than (the angels).”They were created, but He is the Firstborn (v.6). Firstborn is a designation of rank and importance, Christ is the eternal “Firstborn” of the Father: the Son.
He is worthy by His Divine right. That was a term used by kings of old to assert their right to rule. They saw themselves as appointed by God to rule. But the Father Himself says of Christ: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever…” “Let all the angels of God worship Him (vv. 7&6).” Christ says of Himself; “…before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).”
He is worthy by His Divine righteousness. God chose David to be king because he was a man after God’s own heart. David loved righteousness. But he sinned. But when God sent His son, He provided a righteous King; One who loves righteousness and is perfectly righteous. He was not only able not to sin, but more importantly and essentially, unable to sin. He is worthy of worship.
God is revealed in the person of Christ. God is revered in the person of Christ. And God remains in the person of Christ, for Christ is the co-eternal second person of the God-head (vv.10-13). Christ is the co-eternal Creator of all things, and the co-eternal conqueror of all things. The writer of Hebrews draws a stark contrast between the Creator and creation. There is no blurring of the lines, no room for pantheism. The creation is likened to a garment, subject to wear and decay. Christ the Creator is everlasting, unchanging, ageless. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8).”
The eternal Creator is also the eternal Conqueror. No angel has ever been told by the Father; “sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies your footstool (1:13).” Christ is the ruler of heaven and earth. “He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love. “Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life…(Heb. 7:3).” The Christ of Christmas is the eternal God. “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate Deity. Pleased as man with men to dwell; Jesus our Emmanuel.”
Perhaps no uninspired writer has expressed the glory of Christmas and the incarnation better than H.R. Bramley.
“A babe on the breast of a maiden He lies,
Yet sits with the Father on high in the skies,
Before Him their faces the seraphim hide,
While Joseph stands waiting, unscared by His side.”
“Oh wonder of wonders, which none can unfold!
The Ancient of Days is an hour or two old,
The Maker of all things is made of the earth,
Man is worshipped by angels, and God comes to birth.”
“The Word in the bliss of the Godhead remains,
Yet in flesh comes to suffer the keenest of pains,
He is that He was and forever shall be,
But becomes what He was not for you and for me. “