The Paradox of Christmas
The birth of a baby is meant to be a big deal. Parents should be excited about the gift of life that is going to change their lives forever. However, we typically don’t celebrate the birth of people who were born two thousand years ago. So, there has to be more to the birth and life of Jesus. Anyone who really takes time to think about what we are celebrating should come to that conclusion.
When Jesus was born God came to dwell among us. He is Immanuel – God with us. In theological terms we would say the birth of Jesus shows the immanence of God. Immanence being up close, personal and accessible. But, we only experience the immanence of God because He is also transcendent, which means above and beyond our reach. In other words, it took an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God to make the birth of Jesus Christ possible.
The birth of Jesus is a great example of the many paradoxes of God. Jesus was born a baby, yet was fully God. In our mind it doesn’t make sense for God to be almighty, yet personable, loving yet just, sovereign yet giving us a free will. How can what appears to be opposite characteristics of God both be part of God’s nature? Some might get very frustrated with this reality. It might even become a stumbling block to one’s faith. However, Scripture makes it very clear that God is beyond our understanding.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34)
Instead of getting frustrated over not being able to understand the paradox of Christmas we need to embrace the truth and impact of Jesus’ birth. Our Savior has
been born. He walked this earth and showed us the way. He died on the cross and offered forgiveness that sets us free from our sins. He is the way to eternal life. On this earth we will never fully understand how God became man. The good news is we don’t have to understand God to experience Him.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)