What’s the character of God that defines this world encompassing holiday? I’m sure God’s love comes immediately to the forefront. Christ’s physical entry onto the world scene was fraught with great danger and close calls. Yet, God’s love for humankind prevailed! Christ, as a man, grew up and successfully, powerfully fulfilled the purpose for which He had been born. As we study the sacrificial life of Christ, we get a sense of the extreme measures God’s love was willing to take on our behalf. Measures that would ensure our eternal and permanent home in heaven, after our temporary earthly life concluded.
But what concerns me is that as we become so wrapped up in the love God gave us in the Christ-child, we fail to move forward and even acknowledge the purpose for which Christ was born. By failing to embrace both the gift of God’s love and the purpose of the Cross, we venture into a world of deception and falsehood.
Therefore, we MUST come to terms with the fact that it was God’s wrath that was poured out upon Christ as He hung on that cross. Wrath that was meant for us! God cannot tolerate sin because He is God. Therefore, there was only one way that we could even hope for a personal relationship with Him and seal our permanent residence in heaven. Someone, who was without sin, would have to be willing to stand in our stead, take our place, endure God’s wrath. There was a price to be paid for our sin and Jesus paid it. For a moment in time, Jesus was willing to allow Himself to be separated from God. As human beings, I don’t think we can even begin to imagine the horror of that moment for Christ. But He endured the cross for us in order that we would never have to experience such horror.
We don’t talk much about God’s wrath, do we. But understand we place ourselves in great peril by avoiding to come to terms with the reality of God’s wrath. For there is no greater love than what was displayed on the cross where the wrath of God was poured out on Christ.
Yet, I wonder, if by overly focusing on just God’s love, without the balance of God’s wrath, could we miss heaven?