If you have been a Christian for a long time, I’m sure you have heard the Christmas Story a dozen times.
We hear it so much that we’ve become blind to the goodness of it. We forget to take in what it really means. The Christmas story about God becoming man to build His kingdom here on Earth is very intriguing, but I think we miss the reason Christmas is such a sweet time.
God was unable to be with man due to our sin, so He sent Jesus to bridge the gap by becoming God in the flesh. When Jesus came down to Earth, He revealed Himself as God through being born of a virgin, and became a man by being born of a woman.
When you think about it, the story is so much more incredible than we make it seem. God loved us so much that He wanted to come down on our level, understand us, and relate to us.
Not only that, but He also came to reconcile us to Himself. Christmas shows God’s desire to be near us. When He wasn’t with us, He sent His son to be with us. When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us. Once we die, or Jesus comes back, we will be with the Father forever in Heaven. The common thread is that He never intended for us to walk this life alone. Once we accept Him as Savior, Christ is with us wherever we go and will never leave us.
During His life on Earth, Jesus faced suffering just as we do. There is absolutely nothing we can face that Jesus does not understand fully. Oftentimes, we rightly look at God as a supreme authority, but fail to see Him as our compassionate friend as well. We fail to see the ways Christ sympathizes with us in our struggles, and how we can experience His nearness in them.
1. Christ sympathizes with us in our weaknesses.
Just like us, Jesus faced much temptation during His time here on Earth.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matthew 4:1-3).
It would have been very easy for Jesus to give into temptation after starving for forty days and forty nights. However, Jesus resisted temptation with the Word of God. In doing so, He set an example for us by enduring our evil desires yet choosing not to sin.
2. Christ sympathizes with us in our sorrow.
The shortest verse in the Bible simply says, “Jesus wept,” (John 11:35). He wept with Mary and Martha as they were grieving the loss of their brother, despite knowing that he would be brought back to life. He understood Mary and Martha’s pain because He was fully human and felt every emotion just like them.
Also, prior to His death on the cross, He pleaded with God to allow another way:
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me. And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” -Matthew 26:38-39
He was sorrowful about His impending death yet obeyed the Father’s will. Although we may not face the same extremes as Jesus did, He understands our hardships and our sorrows.
3. Christ sympathizes with us in our rejection.
Although He is the King of the World, Jesus was rejected by many. He was not what anyone expected. He came in a manger, not a kingdom. He didn’t come to rule but to save. He sat with the lowly and ate with sinners.
John 1:11 says, “He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.”
When we are rejected, we can find comfort in the fact that we are not alone. Jesus, the Son of God, faced the same thing yet endured it with grace. He is our ultimate example.
Take Comfort, Share Joy
I know it is easy to hear these truths, and then go on not sure how to apply it to our lives. There are a couple applicable steps we can take:
– Take Comfort in His Nearness.When you feel alone, weak, rejected, or sorrowful, remember that Jesus is right beside you. He meets you right where you are. Click To Tweet
When you feel alone, weak, rejected, or sorrowful, remember that Jesus is right beside you. He meets you right where you are. Finding comfort in Jesus doesn’t take away our troubles, but it gives us strength to endure them.
– Share Jesus with Others.
Those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior do not have access to His nearness. There is still a gap between them and God because they have not allowed Jesus to bridge that gap. Once He becomes your savior, you will never face anything alone again. You have a wise Counselor as your friend. This is joyous news that cannot be kept to ourselves!
Though we have heard it many times, the Christmas Story can still impact us today. It can change our lives! This Christmas Season, let’s reflect on Christ’s heart that compelled Him to draw near to us who did not deserve Him.
“For 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