I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1-2
But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” - John 12:23-28
Though Jesus is fully God, He was fully human, as well. Sometimes we may feel overwhelmed by the pressures of work deadlines, meeting our family’s needs, or fulfilling our ministerial commitments. How often do we say something like, “I’m only human and I can only do so much?” Jesus quite literally had the weight of the world on Him. In His humanness He felt every emotion, endured every pain, and dealt with the ups and downs of life just as we do. He was even tempted just as we are, but the difference is that He didn’t sin. Can you even begin to imagine the incredible pressure He was under knowing the physical torture that would be inflicted on Him, the intense public humiliation He would have to endure, and the agonizing death He was destined to suffer? Can you imagine having the spiritual fate of all humanity resting on your shoulders? Yes, Jesus the God-man felt the pressure, as evidenced by the events that transpired in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest. He was literally sweating blood as He prayed. He knew it was the Father’s plan from before the foundation of the world. He loves us so much that He gave over His human will to the Father’s will, and endured it all to be our atonement to bring us back into right standing with God, and all He wants us to do is trust Him, that He did everything that was necessary because there is nothing we could ever do ourselves to bridge the gap between man and God.
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw,
and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will,
take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
- Luke 22:41-42
As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s not be distracted by all the shopping, decorations, food, family, travel, and all the stuff that comes with this time of year. Be sure to keep Christ in Christmas, as the old cliché goes. Remember that the King came into the world in a very lowly way as a Servant to all, as we should be servants to each other, as well. Remember that this innocent little child whose birth we celebrate, was God’s perfect, innocent lamb, born to die for you.