By now the tree is probably up, the lights are hanging, the nativity sets are on display, the decorations are out, and our countdown calendar is coming close to Christmas day. We are in the midst of one of the busiest times of year. Hopefully most of you have finished your shopping. Perhaps you are adventurous and went shopping on Black Friday or maybe you are a Cyber Monday person. Some of you have not started your shopping – Good Luck with that!
As we know, Christmas is not just about gifts, and parties, and plays, and even music – it’s about the birth of the Son of God – the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Why did he have to be born? Why couldn’t he just continue to stay in heaven? Why did he come to Earth where he was ridiculed, rejected, hated, beaten, and ultimately killed? There is only one real reason that Jesus had to be born. The Bible tells us that Jesus was with God in the beginning. “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’” Genesis 1:26a He saw the world being formed, man created, and the fall of man. I am sure He mourned with his father over the choices man made. Yet, God loved mankind so much that He was willing to send his one and only son to earth for one reason which is expressed through out the Bible. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 “This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son to be the payment for our sins.” 1 John 4:10 (GW) “And we have seen and testify that the father has sent his son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:14 (NIV) (Jesus)“For I must die just as was prophesied…” Matthew 26:24a (TLB) “But he took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. We saw his suffering and thought God was punishing him. But he was wounded for the wrong we did; he was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds. We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the LORD has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done.” Isaiah 53:4-6 (NCV)
From the beginning of time to the moment of his miraculous conception, His mission was to die. He was truly born to die. Now, we all die but we have other purposes on earth than just death. We are created to love and worship God and share his love with all mankind. But Jesus’ purpose for birth was His death for you and me. His life was never about Himself and His goals, aspirations, and dreams. His life was never to be considered normal – no plans for a future career, no financial plans, no dreams of building a home for His family, no plans for marriage and children, no plans to grow old and love on His grandchildren, no plans for anything in this world. His only purpose in life was to save mankind by being the sacrifice. He was born to save mankind, through death on the cross. He was born to die so that the whole world might be able to live. Jesus’ reason for birth was to do his father’s work – to prepare himself to take upon the sins of the whole world. From the day of His birth until His death on the cross, His mission was the same – to die. Jesus was born to die, that we might be healed, made whole, and able to have a relationship with God.
Jesus’ life didn’t end with his death. Paul tells us the most important truth about Jesus Christ. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NCV) “I passed on to you what I received, of which this was most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day…” Jesus, who died for our sins is alive and well. My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will come to personally know Jesus Christ as your savior and lord. You can do this by living out this last verse. Romans 10:9-10 (TLB) “For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”
The writer is the pastor at Connection Point Church of God, Sidney.