What Child Is This?

Who is He? Where did He come from? Why did He come? What did He do? Where did He go?

Mystery of mysteries! He is God with us. He is the Word become flesh. He came from heaven, having emptied Himself of His glory for a time, and having taken on a human nature. He did not take on a human personality. He was a divine Person who had a divine nature from eternity, but Who took on a human nature into His divine personality in the fullness of time.

Why did He come? He came to save His people from their sins. His people, not all people. He came to save those whom the Father had chosen from eternity to adopt as His children. Adopt? Were not all human beings His? Yes, He created them, but they chose to reject Him. In Adam they all fell away from God. Now one becomes a child of God by adoption. The choice is God’s.

“Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For, Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.”

What did this child have to do with this adoption plan of God? Those adopted by the Father He gave to the Son to redeem. Yes, the Father gave them to the Son. “I pray not for the world, but I pray for those whom Thou hast given Me.” Jesus, however, had to do more than pray for them. He had to take their place. He came to save His people from their sins. He came to meet every requirement of the Father for their salvation. He met every demand of the covenant of works so that what He did might for us become the covenant of grace.

Again, what did He do? What kind of state did He enter to affect our salvation? His birth in which we so greatly rejoice was the beginning of the steps of humiliation prescribed by His Father for the salvation of His people. He took al1 the steps of humiliation in utter obedience to His heavenly Father. No, He didn’t do His own thing! He always did the things that pleased the Father. He always did not His will, but the Father’s will. “Not My will but Thine be done.” How different from the unChristlike policy of doing one’s own thing! Not once His own thing. Always the things that pleased the Father!

Where did this child go? When a young man He went to the cross on which He reached the climax of His hellish suffering. From the cross He went to the grave through death. On the third day He rose again. He soon ascended into heaven from where He reigns, He intercedes, and He prepares a place for His own.

Let us not forget that from His throne He is observing how we commemorate His birth. Is He in the center of our Christmas? We aren’t pushing Him to the periphery, are we? The world doesn’t even give Him a place on the periphery. They make sure that Santa Claus occupies the stage. Santa must have the credit for the spirit of giving. How wonderful a man they make Santa out to be! 1ne mythical Santa. The Father Who gave His Son and the Son Who gave Himself don’t even have too generous a place in Christmas of some Christians. How much greater a gift must God give to gain the attention, the wrapt attention of those He deigned to adopt as His children? Was not the gift of His Son a gift of infinite value? How thankless or thankful are we?

O Lord, flood our souls this Christmas with deepest joy for Thine unspeakable Gift!