“Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me” (Heb. 10:5, NKJV)
Christmas is about a body – the body that Daddy God prepared for Jesus when He made His entrance earth-side. We see that here in this Hebrews verse. The Father desired to make ready this body for His Son, for a very precise purpose. Jesus wholeheartedly embraced the Father’s desire, and thus came into this world as a human embryo.
We can conclude, then, that “good tidings of great joy” was not about how sweet the manger scene would look on the front of holiday greeting cards. It was about the astonishing truth that God had taken on a body like ours, designated from birth to receive the punishment for our sins.
This Scripture says that God prepared His Son a body, specifically for the purpose of sacrificing it. Jesus partook in our flesh and our blood, uniting Himself to the human experience. He did this both to eradicate our sin and to destroy the enemy of our souls. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb. 2:14, NKJV) He had to become a human in order to represent humanity, on the cross.
He started out the way all of us do, as a baby. He learned how to navigate a human body; He learned to roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, talk, and run. He got taller and stronger, learned to read and write. He went through puberty, dealt with His voice cracking, and learned to navigate all the intensities of human emotions. He learned how to have human relationships and how to stay in them when they became hard. He put up with all the discomfort, heartache, and pain that we have to endure in our human lifetimes. He experienced human longings and wept human tears. He learned, firsthand, what being a human being feels like. He came all the way into our world.
So when you cry, He knows. He understands. Deeply, beyond words deeply. He is Immanuel. God with us. God here.
There was yet another reason He took on a body that first Christmas. He did so that humanity could touch and see and hear what the Father is like… so that humans could personally tell about, “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled…” (1 John 1:1, NKJV). The body God prepared for Him made Daddy accessible to us. Humans could finally touch God, because Jesus took on that body.
And then, once Jesus had fully, profoundly, passionately learned the human experience… and once He had shown us the Father… and once He had modeled for us how to live…
He gave up that body prepared for Him in perfect, ultimate sacrifice for our sins.
“With burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God’” (Heb. 10:6-7, NIV).