But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Galatians 4:4-5 The Message
When we think of Christmas, we generally focus on the fact that God came. Jesus, the Son of God, was born. However the other side of this event is this: God Sent. Think about those words. They tell us there was a plan in God’s mind. They tell us God took initiative to activate the plan. They tell us that this sending created a distance between Father and Son. The Two, who had been eternally in each other’s presence, would be separated.
Did God the Father feel the separation and longing? I think so. Did God the Son feel it? I know so. You can see it whenever Jesus goes off to some lonely place to pray. He longs for the communion and intimacy He had with His Father in eternity before, and has again in eternity now. But during His time living on earth, the Son and the Father were living in totally different places. The Father was in heaven among angels, the Son was among men. They were separated by a very great distance.
Because of the death of your child, you know something about a separation of parent from child. You know there is great pain in this separation. Pain and longing and sadness. Would you choose this separation? I’ll venture to say your answer would be NO Thank You. But God the Father, voluntarily and for a purpose developed in His own mind, said YES. “Son,” He said, “Go,” because He wanted to accomplish what the rest of the verse says: to redeem those who were captured by sin and the law. That’s you and me, by the way.
God, the Father, sent His Son, away from their home and eternal fellowship, to go to earth, to be born as a baby. You know the earthly side of the story: Mary and Joseph in a barn, shepherds, angels, wise men, old people waiting in the temple. The heavenly side of this story is that God sent His Son away to a different place to live separately, to reveal God’s character and plan.
The Father was motivated to take this action so that right now, in your separation, you can believe there is hope. The hope is based on 2 things:
- the Father is familiar with the pain of separation
- the reunion we’ll experience in the redemption He accomplished. Because of the redemption in the verse, you as a sinner and your child as a sinner can be reunited in His presence.
Thanks be to God for the hope of the resurrection. That hope, which is yours now, was born on Christmas morning as the Father sent His Son for you.