Thursday, August 2, 2007

He Left the Throne of Heaven

Is it not the most beautiful sentence that has even been written? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3.16, ESV).

He left the throne of heaven to become a man. He became a person like you and me. Not for a few hours, or a day, or a week, did he come, not even for a month or a year. No, he experienced the fullness of humanity, from birth to death, and he assumed all that is common to life.

He left the throne of heaven and came into the world through the same means that you and I are introduced to life. His conception, albeit miraculous, was followed by a birth that was rather natural. He came not to the halls of kings, but came forth into this world in a stable, in the most humble of places. His birth was heralded not by the wealthy and powerful but by shepherds coming in from their fields. His childhood, implied from the scarcity of information given to us, must have been rather ordinary. He went through the same stages of life that we all experience. He grew to be a man.

He left the throne of heaven to live an ordinary life. I doubt that he was physically imposing. His looks must have been rather plain. I imagine that he appeared a lot like his neighbor across the street. I imagine his hands bore the calluses of a carpenter. The Gospels speak of times when he was hungry, when he grew weary, we he felt sadness and wept.

He left the throne of heaven to accomplish a mission that was anything but ordinary. He came to live a life that pleased God, to show a way that no man could walk on his own. He came to teach and to inspire, he came to serve and to heal, he came to offer himself as the perfect sacrifice no other could bring.

He left the throne of heaven and gave himself into the hands of evil men. These men took him and nailed him to a cross. He did not resist them. He did not curse his enemies. He did not call 10,000 angels to rescue him from death. He simply bowed his head, lifted his cross, and died on a windswept hillside.

He left the throne of heaven to show us beyond a doubt of God’s great love for mankind. He became one of us to show us the will of God and to provide a way for us to stand before heaven’s throne for eternity.