And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
We are not easy to love—this human race of ours. Philosophers ad infinitum have talked about the tragedy of human thought and actions. Historians recollect for us some of man’s greatest achievements, as well as man’s greatest failures. We never seem to learn from our mistakes—just like World War 1 was the war to end all wars. We never seem to get our science right—we think everything revolves around us and that we are the center of the universe. We never seem to understand the purpose and meaning of life—as if the real meaning of life is somehow revealed by how many gifts we receive at Christmas or how many we are able to give. And somehow in all our messed up logic we think God has to love us—as if he owes us, as if it’s our innate right, as if we’re somehow worth God’s time and effort.
Where does that idea come from? It comes from that same steely cold heart where it has always come from. A heart that got us kicked out of the garden because we couldn’t keep one simple command—don’t eat from that tree. A heart that doesn’t want to love God, or even co-exist with God. A heart that is quick to accuse, quick to envy, quick to tear down—and thinks nothing of it.
Do we really think that a few gifts under the Christmas tree will take away the guilt of our rebellion, our hostility towards God? Or a few days off from work will solve our problem of a broken relationship with God? No matter how many Christmas jingles we listen to or Christmas movies we watch, they can’t heal the profound sadness and stark reality of God’s creation breaking bad.
And that’s why God’s love is so unique, so amazing, so utterly different from anything we find in this world. In spite of our sins, our rebellion, our lovelessness, he finds a way to love us. We buy a gift and if it doesn’t work we’re first in line after Christmas to return it. But after mankind broke God’s heart by not loving him, and loving the lies of Satan, God didn’t bring us back to a store for a refund, or throw us on the island of misfit toys. In love he found a solution to our problem. According to God’s holiness, his righteousness, we deserve God’s wrath and punishment to the nth degree. But there it is in that manger and on that cross—God’s unconditional love for sinners. The first promise of a Savior—the seed of the woman would come and crush the power of Satan, sin, and death.
This is love undeserved. This is love in action. This is Jesus, God’s perfect gift to you.