Here’s a super condensed version of the Christmas story:
Mary, a young virgin, gave birth to the baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. Angels announced the birth of God’s Son to lowly Shepherds keeping watch over their sheep. “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). This humble babe grew up to die for the sins of the world on a Roman cross. Three days later He rose from the grave declaring victory over sin and death. Jesus now sits on a heavenly throne at the right hand of the Father. Jesus, God with us in human form, now King Eternal.
This is the story from man’s perspective, from earth looking up. A divine-human Savior now King over all Creation. But what about heaven’s perspective? From God’s realm looking down?
There is a passage in Philippians believed to be a hymn of the early church that gives us a little insight.
Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God.
He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form.
And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.
Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:5-11, NLT
We sometimes forget that Jesus has existed throughout all eternity. His incarnation into human form over 2,000 years ago was not His beginning. He in fact has no beginning because He has always been. This passage in Philippians, along with others in the Bible, reveals this truth.
Jesus Christ is not just the Son of God, He is God. As a member of the divine, holy Trinity He has all power, authority, and position. When the Son yielded Himself in obedience to the Father’s plan for mankind’s eternal salvation it meant Jesus had to lay aside His full divine rights for a time.
Have you ever contemplated what that entailed? Jesus left the glory of heaven and entered the physical realm of earth. He willingly took on the limitations of humanity in all its weakness and endured the rejection He knew would come.
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Compare Jesus’ earthly reception with this heavenly scene:
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders.
In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”
The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshipped.
Jesus Christ, the eternal King of all creation receives continual worship in heaven. And He is worthy to receive it. Jesus willingly stepped out of this realm and into ours to save us from eternal separation from God. He gave up what He deserves to save us from what we deserve. This heavenly King who would be man.