Friday, December 10, 2010

A Christmas Meditation, Christ's Eternal Goodness

What is Christmas for? Christmas is a good time to meditate and think upon what God reveals to us in the glory of Christ. Christmas is for the continual remembrance that God has loved his own children from everlasting to everlasting. How deep is the Father’s love for us? How vast and unmeasured is his love for us in the Christ of Christmas? God reveals the vastness of his goodness to us in Christ in these words, He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you (1Peter 1:20). When we consider the Christ of Christmas we so often think of his birth or his becoming flesh. As Peter says here, “was made manifest in the last times…”. And when we do we consider his becoming flesh so that he might become sin for us on the cross to purchase our redemption (2Corinthians 5:21). This is important for us to meditate and think upon both in reflection upon our own condition as to why we need a Savior and upon the glory of that Savior who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). However, it is also important to look at the depth of love that is revealed to us at Christmas in the eternal goodness of God toward us.

How far back must we go to see the Christ of Christmas? Is he only visible in a manger several thousand years ago or must we search further? Peter tells us “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world…” The word “forknown” comes from a Greek word proginosko. It contains a stem pro meaning before and another word ginosko meaning to know. Therefore God planned and purposed in his eternal counsel the Son who would be the lamb to take away sin and be manifest to his people (1Peter 1:19-20). God is proclaiming his grace in an amplified manner by telling us of his everlasting love toward us in his Son. Psalm 103:17 proclaims, The steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting. And when we consider that love from everlasting we see the Son of God who is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of his nature (Hebrews 1:3) is in the heavens before the foundations of the earth ready to redeem a people yet unborn. The Christ of Christmas is the Word made flesh who, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3). The eternal nature of the Son of God is for the eternal purpose of God to redeem a people who will glorify him for his infinite and eternal goodness.

Christmas is not a new idea on the part of God. Christmas should resound in our ears as not even ancient but eternal. The churches faith at Christmas must not rest on something novel like a God who sees a people in trouble and sends them a nice little baby under a starry sky who would become a great symbol of his love. God did not at last in his workshop come up with a great idea to help man out after several thousand years of existence in misery. The Christ of Christmas is to be trusted in as our eternal salvation, the one who has always been our salvation even before the world began.

But someone may ask, “Why would God employ a Mediator or Redeemer ever before he needed one?” To answer from God’s vantage point, because he foresaw that Adam would not stand long in righteousness. Therefore in his foreknowledge he ordained that Jesus Christ would be the Redeemer of his children whom he loved from everlasting to everlasting. As John Calvin says, “In this there shines forth more clearly the unspeakable goodness of God, in that he anticipated our disease by the remedy of his grace, and provided a restoration to life before the first man had fallen into death.” God shows forth his goodness to his creatures by shinning out of the light of eternity his foreknown Son to be the Redeemer of his own people living as those in the filth and stench of their own wicked sinfulness. He reveals to us this truth not to show us that there was something in us that would merit his coming to us, but to show us that he loved us ever before we thought about or loved him. He loved his own from eternity in the eternal Son of God who is the only Redeemer and Mediator between God and man.

A merry Christmas will be had by those who take up their joy in the God who has loved them from all eternity in the Christ of Christmas. Take time this Christmas to think and meditate upon the everlasting goodness of God in Christ manifest to us and our children. And tell others what Christmas is for, to live in the enjoyment of all that God is for us in the Christ of Christmas.

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