Jesus “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:7-8, ESV
Every year as Christmas draws near, I marvel again that God chose to come to earth as a baby. The Lord Jesus Christ willingly took on human flesh and entered our world of suffering.
We live in a world that aches under the effects of sin and the curse. We suffer from illnesses and disabilities and the process of aging. All around the earth there are natural disasters, poverty, crime, broken relationships, and hurting people. Our biggest problem is that we are born separated from God, and we need salvation.
God did not leave us to suffer without hope in this life or in the life to come. In His great love and mercy, He sent His Son to earth to save us from our sins. We have a Savior who willingly entered into suffering on our behalf!
Jesus chose to come into our world and embrace the limitations of the human body. He became tired, hungry, and cold. He faced temptation. He was well acquainted with sorrow. He was mocked and scorned. He suffered the wrath of God on the cross so that we might never have to. He came to save us from our sins and to redeem us as His own. What marvelous truths to ponder at Christmastime!
It is easy to look at our own difficulties, or see the suffering around us, and lose hope. Christmas reminds us that Jesus knows our pain and weakness. He came to us in our suffering; He suffered with us and for us. Jesus endured more suffering than you or I ever will. We don’t have a Savior who is far-removed from suffering. We have a Savior who understands what we are going through.
It brings comfort to know that Jesus lived in a human body and faced suffering on this earth. It gives us courage and helps us to persevere. Let us look “to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:2-3, ESV).
In whatever suffering you face this Christmas season, remember that Jesus is acquainted with sorrows. You have a Savior who has willingly suffered for you. He understands what you are going through. This Christmas, look to your suffering Savior for courage and comfort. Rejoice and thank God for the good gift of His Son.
Rachel Lundy is a wife and mother of two children. She lives with dysautonomia, a condition that leaves her mostly homebound. She writes at Cranberry Tea Time about life with a chronic illness and the hope and joy she has in Christ.