For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.—Isaiah 9:6
This holiday season, I find that I truly resonate with the words in the verse above as never before. Yet this week I’d like you to sincerely contemplate what this verse states. The very next sentence introduces a curious thought: “and the government shall be upon his shoulders.” What did Isaiah mean when he placed “government” on the “shoulders” of this divine-human infant? The answer, I believe, can be discerned from the following statement.
“Through Christ’s redeeming work the government of God stands justified. The Omnipotent One is made known as the God of love. Satan’s charges are refuted . . . By love’s self-sacrifice, the inhabitants of earth and heaven are bound to their Creator in bonds of indissoluble union” (Ellen White, The Desire of Ages, p. 26).
Ever since Lucifer’s rebellion began, Love and Selfishness have stood face to face. Questions were raised, lies spread, and doubts conceived. Satan represented God as a being whose chief attribute was self-centeredness. Yet “to this sin-darkened earth He came to reveal the light of God’s love” (White, p.19).
“It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God . . . .” (White, p.19).
When we truly comprehend the sacrifice of God in the gift of His only Son, we begin to perceive the truth that “God so loves” (John 3:16). But ponder what this means for you personally, dear friend. Through the gift of Christ not only does the government of heaven stand exemplified, but, much more, this gift allows “every son and daughter of Adam [to] understand that our Creator is the friend of sinners” (White, p. 24).
Not only has God been revealed as a God of love. His love has been shown to know no bounds. For God has been revealed to be the friend even of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.
He is your friend, dear reader. He’s not against you. He loves you with a love that you will never fully comprehend, a love you can only experience. Will you allow the gift of Christ to awaken in you a deeper encounter with His life-changing love this Holiday Season? It’s more than lights, shopping, gingerbread, and trees. There is nothing wrong with these traditions, but the season simply means much more, for in the gift that this time of year celebrates, the “government of God” stands vindicated, the character of God is revealed, and His attitude toward sinners, His innermost thoughts toward you stand unveiled. Take time this season to meditate on what the gift of Christ reveals about what’s in God’s heart and how it relates to you. In this gift is manifested a love that this world has yet to truly comprehend and believe. Dare we believe it? Will you believe it?
“The earth was dark through misapprehension of God. That the gloomy shadows might be lightened, that the world might be brought back to God, Satan’s deceptive power was to be broken. This could not be done by force. The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God’s government; He desires only the service of love; and love cannot be commanded; it cannot be won by force or authority. Only by love is love awakened. To know God is to love Him; His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan. This work only one Being in all the universe could do. Only He who knew the height and depth of the love of God could make it known. Upon the world’s dark night the Sun of Righteousness must rise, ‘with healing in His wings’” (Mal. 4:2; White, p. 22).