Everyone who saw God in the First Testament feared they would die. Nadab and Abihu were killed for offering “strange fire.” Uzzah touched the Ark of the Covenant and died instantly. We know that God is too holy to have anything to do with us.
But He wanted to.
Close your eyes. See the grand experiment. In a stable, God Almighty is birthed from Mary’s womb. Human arms hold God. And God is tiny.
Freeze that picture, right there, with Joseph about to put God Almighty into a manger.
See past our limited sight to where angels dare not breathe, for fear it will be undone. The manger – surely something unclean has touched it! – will disintegrate. God will not remain as man. As the angels watch in wonder, Joseph places God in the hay and stone.
The world does not implode. The baby God cries.
And in that moment, the angels know for sure. They recognize the cry of their Master, who wept so long for the sins of mankind. And here He lay among those for whom He wept.
Mary and Joseph call Him, quite appropriately, God-With-Us.
C.S. Lewis calls this, quite appropriately, The Grand Miracle.
Derek Flood’s description of Christ on the cross seems equally appropriate to describe Christ in the manger:
“God is made small, stripped naked, arms stretched out, so that our false image of a threatening judgmental God is taken away and God’s heart of love for us is revealed. The threat is removed; we have nothing to fight against.”
Related Post: The Greatness of the Smallness of God