Christmas tends to get a lot of hype as far as holidays go. I love the holiday personally. It’s a time when I get to celebrate with my family, share presents, and eat good food. It’s also a time I get to remember the story about how God became a human. After living through 25 Christmases, I’ve noticed the same themes tend to pop up. I hear stories about Mary and Joseph and how difficult their journey was. I hear about shepherds, magi, or angels.
Of course, Jesus is the star of it all—well, not the literal star the magi followed, but still. Baby Jesus is the center of our attention in the manger. As the song “Away in a Manger” goes, “The cattle are lowing / the Baby awakes / but little Lord Jesus / no crying He makes.”
But that’s not true. Jesus did cry. He probably cried a lot during the first few years of His life. Because He was fully human. That’s the amazing part of the Christmas story! God becoming a human being and living among other humans. He cried, was hungry, felt sad, got tired…all the same experiences we have.
To me, this is what makes Christmas so miraculous. Yes, Jesus’s conception was miraculous too—He was conceived through the Holy Spirit, not by a human father (Matthew 1:20, 25; Luke 1:34-35). But the fact that God came down to earth to be with humankind and live a human life amazes me. God the Father sending God the Son to earth, as a human, shows how much love and compassion our God has. And Jesus wanted to come, not just to live among us, but ultimately to die on the cross in our place—and then rise from the grave—so that everyone who trusts in Him can live with God forever. He loves us that much. Other gods of the day would demand human sacrifices, but we have a God who became the sacrifice Himself, on our behalf. • Naomi Zylstra
• Have you ever thought about what it means that Jesus became human? Why is Jesus being fully human and fully God central to the meaning of Christmas?
• What is something Jesus did in Scripture that humanizes Him to you? The Bible tells us Jesus experienced crying, hunger, sadness, tiredness…He did not withhold Himself from any part of human life. (If you want to dig deeper, read Isaiah 53:2-3; Matthew 26:36-39; Mark 11:12; 14:32-36; Luke 4:1-2; 19:41; 22:39-44; John 4:6; 11:35; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7.)
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (CSB)