Christmas - the time to celebrate God's great exchange with man. The gift of grace wasn't because we deserved it. It was because we needed it. We needed God to create a way to be in a relationship with us. Our hearts longed for more, for something bigger than ourselves, for something better than our own ways. For something lasting. But, for as much as we desired to know God, we had nothing to offer. He is holy. We are not. So, God bridged the gap. He gave us His holiness in the form of Jesus Christ, and he called the exchange right. We only had to believe in this exchange; His own Son, part of God's very being, for our sin. I once heard it put into simplified words:
A very good and very great King found out there was a thief in his Kingdom. The Kingdom's treasures were disappearing one by one. The King brought together all this officers and said, 'Search for this thief! He must be punished!' However, for all the searching, the thief could not be found. The King was becoming exasperated and declared that anyone caught stealing would receive a public beating at the hands of the jailers. One day, the thief was finally caught red-handed. The King was filled with dismay to find out that the thief was his own mother! Full of grief and love, he had his mother brought before him. He stripped off his own robe and removed his shirt. He pulled his mother towards himself and sheltered her fully with his own body. Baring his own back to the jailers, he said, 'Now.'