If I asked you about Jesus’ sacrifice for us, you would immediately think of the cross. But have you thought about what an amazing sacrifice it was for him to leave Heaven and become one of us? The Apostle Paul crystalizes this amazing sacrifice for us:
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:6-7
“Equality with God … but made himself nothing.” Jesus gave up perfection: perfect joy, perfect glory, perfect love, to become … a human. And, to live in this sin-infested world we,we have wrought. The Prince of Peace became the Pauper of Poverty, for you.
Now that is amazing.
He came to shine his Light into this dark world. He came to shine his Light into your darkness – and then to light up your life.
Jesus’ best friend, John, decided late in life to write a fourth Gospel. He wanted to convey the essence of this Light, this Jesus he knew and loved so dearly.
So he begins with a sweeping Prologue (John 1:1-18) unlike anything else we see in the Holy Scriptures. John begins with a theme that to us seems odd, but to the Greek-Roman world would have been familiar, and perhaps even for them an “Ah ha” moment of clarity:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” John 1:1-2
This Word about which John writes is the Logos. To the Greeks and Romans of John’s world, the Logos was the underlying principle of rationality that made the world orderly, coherent and intelligent.
In the 6th century B.C., one of the earliest Greek philosophers, Heraclitus, pondered the idea that the world was ever-changing. If everything we see is like this, how can there be order in this world?
Do we not often ask these same questions, as life races by, and even more so after tragic events? “Where is any order, any purpose in this crazy world? And where is my order, mypurpose?”
Heraclitus’ answer was the Logos, “the word or reason of God, with a purpose and design to the world.”
Plato comes along two centuries later and observes, “It may be that someday there will come from God a Word, a Logos, who will reveal all mysteries and make everything plain.”
Hold on Plato, he’s on the way.
So John, in a stroke of inspired genius, eloquently bridges the two worlds of philosophy and religion, Greco-Roman and Christian, by clarifying, “What you have been wondering about, what you have been musing over all these centuries, has come. In the form of a man. And we have seen him. And loved him. And been loved by him.”
John continues, “In him was life, and that life is the light of men.” John 1:4
Are you walking in the Light? Are you flourishing in this Light, absorbing it and then radiating it? You can have it, you know. Jesus came so you could.
That would be an amazing life, wouldn’t it?
This will only be possible when you fully allow this Logos, this Jesus, to illuminate and shape your purpose.
We try to find this meaning, this purpose, through our marriages, our children, our jobs, our hobbies, our sports, our civic or church activities. But the “full life” can only thrive within the Logos.
You will not find real meaning to this world, or more importantly to your world, until the Logos shines his Light into your heart and soul and mind.
If You Want a Little More:
Jesus paid a huge price to come down here, to become a vulnerable baby, so that we could see his Light, and walk in it. But he wasn’t just prescribing a regimen for a better life, and then leaving it up to us. Instead of healing your sin, he absorbed your sin.
But even that wasn’t enough. He then said, “Come on, follow me! Let’s live, really live, together!” And with his joyous smile that his best friend John knew oh so well, he is still beside you, and out in front of you, encouraging you, and beckoning you on, saying, “You think this is something? You haven’t seen anything yet!”
This Christmas Eve, may you ponder the amazing Light who came into our world, even as the prophet Isaiah observed centuries before Heraclitus and Plato:
“3The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:3 and 9:6