What would happen if God really laid hold of you? How do you respond to that prospect?
Do you fear the idea – worried about how He will treat you up close and personal?
Do you long for it – maybe then you’d break free from the ruts you’ve been stuck in?
Well Christmas means that God has already gotten His hands on you!
“Surely it is not angels who He lays hold of but it is the seed of Abraham He lays hold of.” (Heb 2:16)
At Christmas, Jesus Christ lays hold of His people – the seed of Abraham. In fact, as the Seed of Abraham, He comprehends in Himself the totality of His people, like a Vine comprehends its branches. Jesus assumes our humanity and in doing so draws us into Himself. This is a comprehensive ‘laying hold of’!
Jesus does not come to offer advice. He does not come to direct us in righteous paths. He does not make possible our living for God. Instead, as the Seed of Abraham, He lays hold of His people and wrenches them from the clutches of sin, the world and the devil. He sums up and puts away their sin on the cross and rises as the Vindicated Servant. Now He is enthroned at the Father’s right hand – taking with Him the humanity He assumed.
Christ has placed His hands on us in the most radical and thorough-going way. He has commandeered the totality of our existence. We may wish that He had a more ‘hands-off’ approach. We may want to cast ourselves as free agents who can consider whether or not to offer Jesus our allegiance. But when this Word comes to us we realize that we are already claimed, already grabbed, already Man-handled by Jesus. He has gotten His hands on us and He has worked an incredible salvation in us.
Now we find ourselves caught up in His life, His death, His resurrection and His ascension. Our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3). God has gotten hold of our life and done in us what we could never do ourselves – what we could never dream of doing! And His purposes in doing this are entirely for our blessing (just read about His purposes in the context: Heb 2:14-18). We have nothing to fear from this ‘Man-handling’ and everything to be thankful for.
As you look into the manger this Christmas, look with irrepressible hope. There, in the face of Christ, you see not only the Father’s self-giving love. There also you see yourself. There in the manger is your humanity laid hold of by Immanuel. God has gotten hold of you, permanently, irreversibly. Christmas guarantees it.