God Loves with Love
The morning stars '“ the angels, sang together with joy when God laid the foundation of the earth, and they were there when Christ stepped over the threshold of realms above to be laid in the straw of a cattle trough. They saw that. They saw what it did to heaven and eternity bent to accommodate God in the flesh. They saw God when He gave up His Son. The measure of that act is that it expressed the whole heart of the Father, a supreme sacrifice revealing supreme love. A cheap gesture, an easy parting could prove nothing. It had a heart-breaking magnitude.
Jesus told us of the old father and how he cared for his worthless prodigal son. Care? God shows care in every morsel upon our table, and in sun, wind and rain, but Christmas showed more than care. Paul says 'God loved us with His great love'. He strains language. How can you love with love? God did. His great love was His Son, and He loved us with Him, offering Him out of His bosom.
The angels knew God was giving Him and they made it an occasion, crowding the skies above that cattle shed. Amazed, they had one voice: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests'. The voice of an angel of the Lord vibrated in the sky 'I bring you good news of great joy'. Obviously, that is how these celestial celebrant visitors saw it. Earth had been favoured beyond all they had ever seen since creation, the Son of God leaving heaven to find this pitiful, wretched and runaway world. But what was left in heaven?
Jesus said He could call on twelve legions of angels. They were ready for that, we can well imagine, but maybe had to be restrained when they witnessed the fiendish cruelty. They could not meddle. Here were the strange purposes of God.
They can't know, but we know. We know in the only way possible, by being redeemed. Words, even Divine words, Bible words, can't convey it. The Son of God, wrenched out of the deepest heart of Divine consciousness was in some way the only real sacrifice God could make, His greatest love-act, the greatest act of any kind. '˜The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.'
Of course the angels knew God was love. But not as earthlings can know, creatures of sin circumstanced in and conditioned in evil as we are and then favoured with redemption. Angels belong to another order, environed in eternal light where nothing defiles, and the air is bright with life. Wickedness was not their battle, but the battle is the Lord's. Only the Lord of hosts could face death, and know blood and mortality.