Read Genesis 32:22-32 Key verse: "It is because I saw God face to face and He has spared my life." (vs. 30b)
How can this be?
We have seen the answer to Mary's question in the love of God, the
power of God, the activity of God, and the life of God. Now we find the
answer in the person of God. Even before God came to earth in His
Son, He was(and always has been) personal. A good argument for the
existence of a personal God is that we are personal(created in His
image). How could the impersonal create the personal? Personal ones
love relationships with others like themselves. God has lived in a
great three way relationship within the Trinity since all eternity. In
creating us He desired to develop new relationships. In a relationship
one wants to identify with the other. That is what happened when the
Son of God came to earth. This personal God became human so that he
could experience our existence and take our place in death.
God made several pre-incarnational visits to earth before that first
Christmas. One of those trips was to Jacob. It was not a fun visit for
Jacob although it ended up great. He was afraid for his life as he was
about to have an encounter with his twin bother, Esau whom he had
cheated years ago. On the night before the encounter Jacob wrestled
with a man all night. That man turned out to be the LORD. Jacob was
blessed but he also was crippled. His weakness became the LORD's
strength. When Jacob was willing to stop trying to control things and
give them to God, he discovered the liberating blessing of the LORD.
In meeting God face to face, Jacob had found that real life comes from
knowing the LORD(Jn. 17:3).
Mary's surrender to the LORD (Lk. 1:38) led to the ultimate personal
visit from God. "The Word became flesh and pitched His tent with us.
And we have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only...who
explained God."(Jn. 1:14,18) The miracle of Christmas is that the
Eternal God became a little baby. Forget the halo in the paintings, He
was human in every way. Because He experienced humanity (yet without
sin) we can have a relationship with Him. Like Jacob, we can see Him
face to face and live. Sometimes it takes a wrestling match to really
see Him, but when we surrender to Him and quit striving, the blessings
of a wonderful relationship fall upon us.