Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NIV
As I was sharing the Advent wreath with my elementary students, I asked them to consider what Jesus left to come to earth, what He would face here, and why He made that choice. Let’s reflect on that together.
In heaven, Jesus had everything. He was with His heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. He shared in the glory of God before the world began (John 17:5) Jesus was adored and worshipped by the angels and by God’s people who were already in heaven. All of the riches off heaven were His. He had majesty. He had unlimited power and all knowledge. Jesus was not limited by time or location. Everything in heaven was and is done according to God’s will. Heaven is a perfect place.
Faced with a world of lost souls who needed a Savior, Jesus Christ chose to come to earth in accordance to the Father’s plan. He left everything behind for us.
Jesus was now separated physically from His Father and from the Holy Spirit. He exchanged His heavenly home for a feeding trough in a stable, probably in a cave. He left heaven’s riches for earthly poverty.
Jesus became a refugee, fleeing with Mary and Joseph to Egypt to escape King Herod’s plot to kill Him. When Herod failed to learn his whereabouts, he had all males less than two years of age killed in the Bethlehem area. (Matthew 2:13-18)
Jesus chose to come, knowing that His birth would be scorned because His mother, Mary, was pregnant before marriage. He was accused of being born of fornication. (John 8:41) His half-siblings through Mary and Joseph did not believe He was the Son of God during His life on earth. It was after His resurrection that they believed.
Our Savior chose to come to earth knowing that the religious leaders who should have been looking for Him and celebrating His coming were the same people who would mock His teachings and the truth of Scripture. These leaders would arrest Him, and He would be spat upon, whipped, and falsely tried. Ultimately Jesus would be crucified on a Roman cross, the most shameful and painful way to die.
Jesus knew all of this before He left heaven to come that first Christmas.
He came, willingly laying down His life for us. He knew He would live again!
As the Father knows Me. Even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. John 10:15, 17, 18 NKJV
Why did Jesus make this choice to leave everything for us? He loves us and takes joy in us. He makes it possible for us to have faith in Him.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:9, 13 NIV
…Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NIV
Let’s respond to Jesus and thank Him for the choice He made for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author…of our faith who will bring us to perfection and completion.
Jesus, thank you for choosing to leave heaven to come to earth. Thank you for choosing to come for us, for me. Help me to fix my eyes on You above everything and everyone else.
Top Photo of wreath by Bastian Riccardi on Pexels.com