Merry Christmas, everyone! At this time of year, we are invited to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. For my gift to you, I offer an insight into His character. I’ve heard people comment on the difference between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, saying that they can’t be one and the same because one is vengeful and the other is merciful. But I realized something about Jesus that explains this seeming discrepancy.
At the end of His life, Jesus endured the Atonement wherein He suffered the punishment for every person’s sins, and He also felt all the heartache and anguish they would ever experience. All through history leading up to the meridian of time, Jehovah knew that the pains, sorrows, diseases, torments, wars, famines, and struggles He allowed the people of Earth to suffer would be revisited upon Himself when He took upon Him flesh and blood. When God killed most of the Earth’s inhabitants in a flood, tormented the Egyptians with plagues, and commanded the Israelites to slaughter the Canaanites, He did so with the knowledge that He would have to pay the price by feeling all of their agony. And each time God allows men and women to sin, make mistakes, and hurt each other, His inaction is not indifference. He knows what our pain and misery feel like. God isn’t just a passive spectator or some out-of-touch sovereign, making impartial decrees and always remaining above His subjects. He has descended below us all in order to raise us up.
There are two ways that we can show our gratitude for what Jesus did for us: lift others and keep the commandments.
In Matthew 25:40, when Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” He is speaking literally. When we are kind to others, it’s comforting to know that Jesus has experienced that kindness vicariously.
In John 14:15, Jesus declares, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Anytime we sin, we add to the burden He had to carry. Of course, He was willing to do that for us because He loves us, but we can show our love for Him by doing our best to avoid unnecessarily making Him suffer for our sakes.
I trust that everything I must go through in this life will be worth it because the Savior experienced it all long before I was born, and the same is true of anyone who has ever lived. So when I say “Merry Christmas,” I am paying tribute to the source of goodness and inviting us all to see each other as our Lord sees us.
This is the Deja Reviewer wishing you a Merry Christmas.