One of my favorite traditions at Christmas is going to a candle light communion service. At a time when we are celebrating the birth of Christ, it’s a good reminder of why He was born. At the last supper, Jesus said, “As often as you do this (communion), do this in remembrance of me.” So in celebration if His birth, we take time to remember His death. Yes, His birth was important. I’ll talk about it tomorrow. Today, however, I want to focus on why He came.
It wasn’t just enough that He was born and took on flesh and blood. In order to be the advocate we need Him to be, He had to see what it was like living here confined to a body, time and space. It was something He had never experienced. While God created all three, they existed in Him, not He in them. Knowing what it’s like to have a schedule, a job, deadlines, dealing with customers and being tempted as we are we’re all part of His plan. Don’t forget He was a carpenter which meant He dealt with all the above.
He needed to know how strong temptation is for you and I so He could give us strength to overcome it and to provide a way out of it. He dealt with anger, frustration and needy people. He knew what it was like to have a family. We don’t know what happened to Joseph since he isn’t mentioned beyond Jesus’ 12th year. It’s possible He knows what it’s like to lose a parent and to be raised by a single mom. He understands those struggles.
He knows what it’s like to be falsely accused. He had a close friend stab Him in the back and betray Him. He knows what it is to have people lie about Him and then send Him to jail. He knows what it is like to be in court and to go before a judge. He knows what it’s like to be beaten, whipped, slapped and punched. He knows what it feels like to have the weight of the world on His shoulders. He even knows what it is like to face death.
I love what Hebrews 4:15 says about Jesus. It says, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. (NLT)” In wrapping Himself in flesh and blood, He also wrapped Himself in our pains, our sufferings, our fears, our joys and our temptations so that He could be our advocate to the Father. He understands what you are going through today and was able to make it through each of these situations.
So on Christmas Eve, I choose to remember all of these things in His life as I celebrate His death on the cross. I take time to remember that it wasn’t His birth that saved me. It was His death on the cross and resurrection three days later. Without living a sinless life and dying on the cross, I would still be lost and in sin. Tomorrow I will remember and celebrate His birth, but today, I remember His life, death and resurrection in order to be my advocate.