Do you travel during the holidays? Our travel consists of seeing family. My parents live in North Carolina, about six hours away. My older brother lives five hours from me and my baby brother lives across the country in Colorado. I don’t want to even think about how long of a drive that would be. If I travel there, it’s by plane.
It’s not always convenient nor does it always fit in the budget to travel, but we do because our family is important to us. We’re willing to sacrifice and/or be inconvenienced to spend time with them. We love them and there’s nothing we wouldn’t do for them. Thankfully, they feel the same way.
How awful would it be if we were willing to make the effort and they weren’t. It would make us think we didn’t matter to them… we weren’t a priority in their lives.
I’ve often wondered if God ever feels this way. He left the comforts and beauty of heaven and traveled to earth for us, not for a short visit or a vacation, but to die for our sins. Romans 5:8 says,
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I don’t think we pause often enough to recognize the suffering Jesus endured for us or the cost of His love for us. It wasn’t like a few people didn’t like Him. He literally carried the weight of the world on His shoulders. Isaiah 53:2-12 spells it out for us. Please take the time to read it, to come face to face with what He endured for us.
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away. And who can speak of His descendants? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death, though He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth. Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand. After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great, and He will divide the spoils with the strong, because He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
That, my friends, is love. He deemed us worth the trip, worth the pain and suffering, worth His time. What do you deem Him worth? How far are you willing to go for Him? He only asks us to travel a short distance for Him- to our knees. He only asks for a relationship with Him in return for all He’s done for us.
This Christmas season, while you’re traveling to visit family and friends, do not forget to travel the short distance to your knees to spend time with the One who loves you completely and demonstrated it even unto death. That’s what He wants for Christmas.