We have just celebrated Remembrance Day, and we are in the lead up to another day of remembering an event that modern philosophy would view as tragic. Jesus Christ was born specifically with the deliberate destiny of dying a horrific death by crucifixion. The culmination of his life’s purpose was to die, painfully and alone. And yet Christmas is a joyful event celebrating his birth. And his life was not tragic, nor heroic, but marvellous and loving.
At first sight this does not make sense, but only if we come at the event with the wrong assumptions. To make sense we need to grasp that:
- This was God himself choosing to become human, living as we live, suffering as we suffer, and importantly, doing himself what was required rather than imposing on another.
- To do this, God must care deeply about us
- Suffering is not necessarily bad. It can be necessary to achieve the best
- Death is not the end, but a doorway to something better
- It is not possible for us to live a perfect life
- God / Jesus chose to die to allow us to forgive ourselves for our past, and to choose to live his way … even if it may lead to what the world sees as hardship and suffering
There is so much more that we need to learn, that we have forgotten in this modern age. Use this Christmas to begin your journey of discovery.