Sorrow. It is an emotion we feel too little of. Why sorrow? Because there is blood on our hands. Blood? Yeah, blood. Innocent blood at that. I am a murderer. I killed the Son of God. I am guilty.
There is no sugar coating it. There is no downplaying possible. The Holy One, Jesus, the Righteous. That is who I killed. I pointed my finger at God and cursed Him. I drove nails through the hands and feet of His son and I mocked His death.
And then God spoke.
He did not speak words of wrath or condemnation. He spoke words of love, and forgiveness. He spoke of reconciliation. He spoke of adoption. He spoke of peace.
You see I live in the 21st century. Jesus lived in the 1st century. But God knew me (the real, evil, wicked, wretched me) before He spoke the universe into existence. And still He decided that He would send Jesus, His only Son, to be born of a woman and to live upon the earth He Himself cursed because of my sin.
He did nothing wrong! Not a single solitary thing.
But we killed Him anyway. Because if we didn’t we would have to admit that we were sinners. We would have to look Him in the eye and see reflected there the sad truth. The truth that His very presence was evidence that we were (and are) in desperate need of a Savior. Maybe if we silenced Him we could stop hearing the silent accusation of our conscience — GUILTY.
But even at His execution we condemned ourselves. We drove the nails and with each blow we proved our depravity.
The amazing part is that God knew what we would do. Jesus knew that to be born was to ultimately be tortured and executed in the most horrendous way we could possibly imagine. And yet He chose to come! He chose to die. And today He chooses to forgive.
You see, just as Christmas proves our guilt, it also provides hope. Jesus came to earth because we needed a Savior, and that is why His birth is to be celebrated! But His birth would give little hope if it were not for His death. And His death would have nothing but terror for us if not for His grace and mercy.
We are, all of us, guilty. Yet in spite of our guilt God chooses to love and forgive us. We cannot forget, especially at this time of year, that we should look to the manger with hope and joy, but with sorrow too. For if in the stall we do not see both a babe and a lamb we have missed the point. He who brings us life and joy and peace bought it with His blood. We, the guilty, are made righteous. He the innocent is made The Passover Lamb.
So, please, this season worship the babe in the manger, but don’t forget He is also the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, and that He was slain for you!