Today, we celebrate my son’s 9th birthday! When he was born, he changed my life forever because he helped me understand the two statements below which caused us to give him his name.
Misrepresented as a stern judge waiting to execute judgment, God in the Old Testament is often times dismissed and ridiculed. But when I contemplate the plan of salvation and what He and Christ have done for me and my family, I bow my head in solemn worship. To even posses an imagination to produce the plan of salvation requires love beyond comprehension. I admit that there are limits to the greatest acts of love that I’m capable of.
But God’s love knows no limits. Unfortunately it’s radicalness is too-often eclipsed by what we feel Christ has done for us.
Satan in heaven had hated Christ for His position in the courts of God. He hated Him the more when he himself was dethroned. He hated Him who pledged Himself to redeem a race of sinners. Yet into the world where Satan claimed dominion God permitted His Son to come, a helpless babe, subject to the weakness of humanity. He permitted Him to meet life’s peril in common with every human soul, to fight the battle as every child of humanity must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss.
The heart of the human father yearns over his son. He looks into the face of his little child, and trembles at the thought of life’s peril. He longs to shield his dear one from Satan’s power, to hold him back from temptation and conflict. To meet a bitterer conflict and a more fearful risk, God gave His only-begotten Son, that the path of life might be made sure for our little ones. “Herein is love.” Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! — Desire of Ages, 49
This is what “Immanuel: God with us” means. To assure us that He will provide us with help in every difficulty, God gave us His son. He didn’t let us borrow Him for a moment, a lifetime, or even through the entire history of redemption. He didn’t lend Christ to us momentarily as a gift to be returned. This act of love would be enough to make any thoughtful person eternally thankful. But God’s love is beyond human comprehension. It cannot be understood, it can only be beheld. “God with us” also means “us with God.”
God so loved the world that, when sin marred His purpose for mankind and justice demanded a debt of sin that seemed infinite, God literally changed His nature. Rather than letting go of humanity, He brought humanity into the trinity through the person of His Son. One third of the Godhead is human! Forever!
By His life and His death, Christ has achieved even more than recovery from the ruin wrought through sin. It was Satan’s purpose to bring about an eternal separation between God and man; but in Christ we become more closely united to God than if we had never fallen. In taking our nature, the Saviour has bound Himself to humanity by a tie that is never to be broken. Through the eternal ages He is linked with us. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.” John 3:16. He gave Him not only to bear our sins, and to die as our sacrifice; He gave Him to the fallen race. To assure us of His immutable counsel of peace, God gave His only-begotten Son to become one of the human family, forever to retain His human nature. This is the pledge that God will fulfill His word. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder.” God has adopted human nature in the person of His Son, and has carried the same into the highest heaven. It is the “Son of man” who shares the throne of the universe. It is the “Son of man” whose name shall be called, “Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isa. 9:6. The I Am is the Daysman between God and humanity, laying His hand upon both. He who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” is not ashamed to call us brethren. Heb. 7:26; 2:11. In Christ the family of earth and the family of heaven are bound together. Christ glorified is our brother. Heaven is enshrined in humanity, and humanity is enfolded in the bosom of Infinite Love. — Desire of Ages, 26-27