The next few weeks prior to Christmas are going to be nice. We will see people be exceedingly nice one to another. We’ll get cards and phone calls and we can laugh with people we haven’t seen for awhile. Many people will read Matthew 1 & Luke 2 in their homes to get a reminder of the Christmas story.
Yet, simply walk through any store and see how Christmas seems to have lost it’s way. Santa and goodwill are the focus. People have come to believe that Christmas is the center of Christianity and that is not true. It is important. The baby Jesus coming is the first part of a much bigger plan God had to bring about redemption for mankind. Christmas is just the intro into Easter. The Gospel is about the cross, not the cradle.
But we can certainly learn from the “incarnation.” God wrapped his divinity in humanity. Jesus came as a baby into the world. God showed the most amazing amount of grace we could ever imagine. The Bible gives us the understanding that humanity is sinful. We see what happens when man tries to rule and reign without God. Hate becomes murder. Drinking becomes drunkenness. Love turns to lust. What we touch without God’s rule we wreck.
The Bible clearly states that “the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:26) but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” How does that happen? As Jesus came to us as a child, needing to be fed by His parents, clothed by His parents and provided for by them. Like all of us at one point. He was helpless in that sense. He left the benefits of heaven to live a life like us.
Scripture tells us that he grew in knowledge and wisdom and stature. Yet, he remained sinless. Never lied, never stole, never desired what He shouldn’t. He lived perfectly. He fulfilled the Law. He never broke the 10 Commandments. That had never been done before and it has never been done since. Jesus alone is perfect in his humanity. And it was that that little baby that grew in Jesus the adult. He is “God with us.”
See Jesus understands all humanity because He has lived with us. He knew that we would need to be fed because he was. So when he calls himself the ‘Bread of Life,” well, he is. When he calls himself the “Living Water,” he is. He came to bring us all that we would need. And like a child that has to lay in own waste until the parent comes to cleanse and change, Jesus does that for us too. He cleanses us from the sin we lay in and He promises to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He can do that because Jesus endured what our sin deserves.
God the father’s wrath against sin was laid upon his son Christ Jesus. A public display of what our sinful rebellion deserves. Christ takes our punishment, He pays the penalty that true holy justice demands. Christ Jesus dies our death, is buried in a tomb and then, so we understand that sin has been dealt with once and for all, Jesus is raised to new life. And it is that new life is offered to those that put their trust in Christ Jesus finished work.
Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, the promise of eternal life, is a gift that is offered to all that will turn from their sin (repent) and trust in Christ Jesus. There is no greater gift you will receive and no greater gift you can share this Christmas season. May you have a blessed and happy CHRIST-mas!
The writer is the pastor of the Cornerstone Church in Sidney.