I am grateful for Jesus' humble birth. Thinking of the Holy God coming to earth in this way fills me with praise.
I am extremely grateful for Jesus' death--and the salvation He gave me.
And I am grateful for His life.
None of His earthly life was lived in splendor. His neighbors still knew him as “the carpenter's son” when He began His ministry at age thirty. He traveled around Israel, teaching and healing, and He certainly didn't have luxury accommodations.
As I read the gospel accounts of Jesus' life, I see His power and His gentleness. I see Him holding children, comforting grieving families, and reaching out to sinners. Yet when confronted with hypocrisy and pride, He didn't mince words. Far from weak, when He saw God's temple filled with people who were only there to make money, He sternly drove them out!
How wonderful to serve a Savior who lived His earthly life with kindness, perfectly balanced with power. I am grateful for that.
The last week of Jesus' ministry began in triumph, though Jesus still appeared lowly and unassuming as He approached Jerusalem:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9 NKJV)
But soon the crowds turned against Him and He faced an unjust trial. Still, the Son of God kept His power under control and responded in a meek manner:
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
On the way to the cross, the Son of God was so weak that He stumbled and fell, and the soldiers forced someone from the crowd to carry His cross. Think about that for a moment: the Son of God—a captive.
Of course, you know the rest of the story. You know that Jesus was crucified and buried but then He rose from the dead. And suddenly His power was obvious to His believers. Yet He did not appear to them in a spectacular glory, but with gentleness and approachability.