IF THAT ISN'T LOVE
He left the splendor of heaven,
Knowing His destiny
Was the lonely hill of Golgotha,
There to lay down His life for me.
~ by Dottie Rambo
The song "If That Isn't Love" by Dottie Rambo comes to mind when I think about what Jesus left when He came to earth that Christmas so long ago. "He left the splendor of heaven!" How beautiful heaven must be! And yet He gave that up, already knowing that He was going to die a horrible death on the cross, so that I can one day be in heaven with Him. As the song says, He came "to lay down His life for me."
In order to understand what Jesus gave up, I believe you have to understand Who Jesus is. According to the Bible, Jesus is the Word, and He was in the very beginning with God. Everything was made by Jesus. Nothing was made without Him. He is also life, and the light of man (John 1:1-5). If you go back to the very first book of the Bible, the very first chapter, you find that God created the heaven and the earth. He spoke it into being. If Jesus created everything (based on John), and God created everything (based on Genesis), you have to understand that Jesus and God are one and the same. Hebrews 1 tells us that Jesus is God's Son, and that He is the Heir of all things. He is the one who upholds all things "by the word of His power." He also "sat down on the right hand of the Mighty on high." And He is so much better than the angels! In John 14:8-15 Jesus further states that He and the Father are one. If you have seen the Son, you have seen the Father. Jesus gave up, for a time, His position in heaven, His position as the Creator, His position as the One Who holds the world together. Oh, and He was rejected by God -- remember on the cross where He cried out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46) How unspeakable that must have been!
So, why did He come? Matthew 1:21 says "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." There is no other way to everlasting life with the Father. Jesus Himself said in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." He is not a way out of many. He is the only way to everlasting life with the Father. And John 3:16-17 very clearly states "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved." He didn't come to punish us. He came to heal us spiritually, for eternity!
Jesus sole purpose in coming to earth, being born as a baby and being tempted as we are (only without sinning), was to die on the cross as the perfect payment for our sins. Revelation 13:8 tells us that Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Before the world was even created!!!
What did He GAIN when He came? If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour, He gained you. For all eternity. He was willing to lay down His life so you could be with Him! II Peter 3:9 sums it up, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." He gives you time to make your decision, but remember indecision can become a decision, as well.
Have a very merry CHRISTmas, and a wonderful new year! And if you haven't made the most important decision of your life, don't wait any longer.