“God and sinners reconciled” go the words of the famous hymn (turned “Christmas carol”) by Charles Wesley. Interestingly, in Wesley’s own life he was quite religious in every sense of the term even before the time in his life when he came to see the truth of the gospel. He did not recognize a need to be reconciled to God and so the reality of why Jesus would become man had been essentially lost on him. His reconciliation, though, produced for all of us a wealth of rich hymns that capture the essence of needing a savior.

Jesus was no mere gift to show God’s pleasure with his created beings as some sort of kind gesture. Rather, Jesus is the very agent of reconciliation – he is the one who would make right everything which was wrong; he is the one who would become sin in our place in order that we might stand in his perfect goodness before God. The reconciliation is more drastic than any of us can even imagine: without a savior, we stand as enemies of the God who reigns over all things; in Jesus, we stand forgiven and reconciled.

And so, as Wesley’s hymn also goes, “Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die.” Such is the unparalleled worth of the Son of God becoming a son of man. For those who are in Christ are no longer enemies of God and death is no longer their great fear. And should not that bring us all to proclaim with the angels:  “Glory to the newborn King!”