“Ha! Leave us alone, Jesus the Nazarene! Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.”
Such a small statement, and yet so profound. Even the demons knew who Jesus was and shuddered – but that knowledge did not equate to salvation for them. When confronted with the God of this universe this evil spirit did not want to be in His presence. Evil cannot be in the presence of God without being consumed or having atonement for sin. Fear and rejection of God was the only choice for this demon. How do we respond to seeing this gift of God?
When my kids were little, they would try and sneak a look at the gifts before I wrapped them. As they got older, they might resort to peeling back the tape just enough to catch a glimpse, or to shaking the item to gauge what it was. They could not wait to see what gifts were given to them. It is that yearning that I want to keep fervent in my heart, when I think of seeing Jesus when He returns and when I meditate on what it must have been like to gaze at the King of kings as a baby. A precious gift, bundled in swaddling clothes was the redemption of all mankind – if we accepted the gift.
Now all these years later we know what the gift that first Christmas was. We can know that Jesus is God, but that is not the same as knowing Him. Sin brings fear of sure condemnation, but perfect love casts out all fear. When confronted with our sin by a Holy God, we have a choice – to bow down and worship Him, confessing our sins and receiving mercy, or to pridefully pretend we do not need His salvation. God does not make us choose Him, but He is Holy – sinless – and the One Who came to forgive sinful man. He established His law that we might see our need of Him, and He set the expectations for how we were to live for His glory. He wanted us to know Him and that He loves us. This Christmas, even though the story has been heard so many times, we can still with anticipation come to learn more of our living Savior and know Him more. He truly is the gift that keeps on giving, long after other gifts have faded.
Lord, help us to understand what You accomplished when You came to this earth. May we know You and not just know about you.