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The King of Christmas—He Came for You, for Me, for the World
...and the Word became flesh.
There is a story line that shows up occasionally in romantic movies popular among women in today’s market.
It is the story of a member of the royal family from a small, unknown country somewhere, immersing himself (or her) in normal life. In the process of the story, the royal falls in love with a commoner, and there begins the challenge.
How will the kingdom he (she) rules receive this relationship? Will the commoner/love-interest be able to adjust to a noble life? Is the outcome worth shedding the royal lifestyle, even if for a little while?
This King of Christmas Came—for You, for Me, for the World
The real meaning of Christmas is the story of a heavenly royal immersing himself in the typical or common (human) life. The love story that ensues, however, began long before he arrived earth side.
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2.8 (KJV)
We do not think of the cross often during the Christmas season. It does not mesh well with the image of the baby in a manger. In Philippians 2, Apostle Paul links Christ’s birth and the Cross, helping to explain the essential reasoning of God’s plan.
Verse eight of Philippians 2, says Christ was “…found in fashion as a man…” The word fashion translates schema in the Greek. Paul made a crucial word choice here. The word schema was used in bible days to describe a king who exchanged his kingly garments for a brief period of time for the clothing of a beggar.¹
He Shed His Royal Garments and Came
The King of heaven removed his garments of royalty and stepped down to earth—becoming the King of Christmas. He did not do this simply to experience the common life, nor to instigate a behind the scenes check-up on his subjects. It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision on the part of Father-God, and certainly not a casual adventure for the Son.
The King of glory came and humbled himself. It was not enough that he lay aside the royal garments, but he needed to assume the position of a servant. He exchanged his regal robe for the attire of a mere mortal in human flesh. It was the only way to atone for the sin of humankind.
As we celebrate the season of His birth, this should cause us to consider the magnitude of love God had for His creation—for you, for me, for the world.
Another important observation is Paul’s use of the word obedient in Phil. 2.8. Let us consider our attitude towards obedience, not just in childhood but over our lives. The need to obey usually means we are facing something we do not really want to do. It often means that something unpleasant, limiting, or hard is on the horizon.
Certainly, Jesus knew what was ahead of him when he laid aside those royal garments. This was the One of whom the psalmist declared, “You rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, You still them.” (Psa. 89.9) Yet, now, His mission became obedience to the will of the Father, and this would include obedience to things that seem reprehensible to us, today.
Look forward, through the pages of Scripture, to the words of the disciples in Matthew 8, when caught out in the storm at sea with the One who came to earth—our King of Christmas.
“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, 'Save us, Lord; we are perishing!' He said to them, 'Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?' Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, 'What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'"(Matthew 8.24-27 NASB)
Here we see a glimpse of the all-powerful God the psalmist worshiped. When the call came for Him to lay aside those royal garments, He knew what it entailed. He knew all of it, yet He still came. He came for you. He came for me. He came for all the people of the world, that we could experience forgiveness and salvation eternal.
At Christmas or any day, this realization should cause a swell of love to well up inside and pour out of us in adoration and praise to the One who came.
He came, not only as the child born to a virgin, but fashioned as a man, humbled as a servant, and obedient unto the cross. We pause, today, to say, "Thank you! We are so grateful you shed your royal garments, that we might know you in the fullness of your grace, mercy, and truth...at Christmastime and always."
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1.14 (NASB)
¹Sparkling Gems from the Greek. By Rick Renner © 2003.