This was originally written for the 2017 PBA Advent Devotional Guide. Due to the high volume of quality submissions, it was not ultimately included in the guide, but I’m leaving it here instead. Click here to receive daily advent devotionals this season from the PBA community.
Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV):
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
As we approach Christmas Day, a wide range of emotions falls over us. Some of us are like the angels rejoicing in the starry skies, and others are like the psalmist in the miry depths still waiting for the LORD to give us a new song. The truth is all of us are burdened in one way or another, and we need someone who can both help and understand.
There was a time before Christmas when the whole nation of the Jews was trapped under a crushing burden. Year after year the high priest would make sacrifices for their sins, but nothing would change. The world was still broken. Their sins were still scarlet. There was no hope.
Then, at just the right time, God sent his Son to be born of a woman into the same broken world where we all find ourselves today. Jesus Christ, our true High Priest, took on our weaknesses and burdens as a helpless babe—his sole mission to die for us one day that he might lift us up out of the miry depths just as he lifted himself up out of the grave.
Consider the holy infant, how he wailed, how he shivered, how much trouble awaited him, how the cross loomed over him in the manger. And in the midst of our darkest trials, let us approach the throne of grace with confidence knowing that he knows our pain.
Consider the weakness of his birth and the power of his resurrection. The same Spirit who sustained him in the desert for forty days will comfort us in this life and assure us of the life to come.
Cast all your anxieties upon him this Christmas because he cares for you. And take heart! For he has overcome the world!