Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

O Holy Night

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
There are a trillion ways that Jesus is not like us.  The Nicene Creed, the old Christian confession from the fourth century, is only a sketch of what this looks like.   There are vast, glorious truths of Jesus that make him so unique.  We can hardly put them in words.
 
Jesus Is Different
 
Jesus is the Lord.  From everlasting to everlasting, he is God, very God of very God.  He is the second person of the holy Trinity, whose person is never blended into the Godhead and whose essence is never divided from it.  He is irrevocably sovereign, utterly independent, forever sourceless and satisfied. We'll never know what that's like for ourselves.
 
Jesus has eternally existed; he was not made.  He dwelled eyes wide open in the Father's unapproachable light before time. Through him came everything that exists.  Everything.  He is the uncreated Creator, and we are what he spoke into reality. He said it, and it came to be.  Only he can do that.
 
And more, Jesus came down from heaven for our salvation.  He is the definitive showcase of God's eternal purpose in the universe, and of God's love for this people.  All of God's intentions to glorify his name by creating humans, saving them, and living in fellowship with them forever, is all centered on Jesus.  From the very beginning, before there was a beginning, Jesus has been the one.
 
Still more, Jesus is the King of the nations, the king who owns the ends of the earth, whose dominion explodes our best metrics. He's kind enough to warn all rulers of his power, fierce enough to kindle wrath in an instance, and good enough to be a refuge for those who hope in him.  His enemies will be his footstool.  He will judge the living and the dead.  He has all authority in heaven and on earth, and his kingdom will never end.  Without doubt, he is the King of kings.  In a trillion ways, Jesus is different.
 
Jesus Became Like Us
 
Jesus is indissolubly, inconceivably, unquantifiably different, until the King of kings laid thus in lowly manger until the fullness of time had come and he was born of a woman, born under the law, until he became a great high priest who can sympathize with our weaknesses, a friend in our trials, a redeemer who understands.  Jesus came to earth as a human like us.  He breathed the same air we do.  His feet touched the same ground as ours and he walked the same paths.  He was tempted like us in every way.  In every way that sin has crouched at our door, in every way that iniquity has whispered bad promises in our ear, Jesus knows all about it.  He experienced it.  He was there, yet he never sinned.  Jesus knows our need, our weakness is no stranger.
 
And this is how he died for us, knowing all about us.  The wrath he suffered in our place was for sins he resisted in perfect faithfulness.  He felt the Father's fury against him for transgressions that he found repulsive, transgression he himself never committed.  Not only did Jesus become like us, but he took our place and bore our sins as if they were his.  Of all the ways that Jesus is different from us, it's here, when he became most like us, that the greatest love in the world was revealed.
 
Our Grateful Chorus
 
This is what Christmas is all about.  Jesus, incomparably glorious and so different from us, became like us to the uttermost.  And what can we do but sweet hymns of joy raise?  Let all within us praise his holy name.  Christ is the Lord! His power and glory evermore proclaim!  His power and glory evermore proclaim!