Thoughts on Christmas

I remember doing a short skit in our youth group several years ago in which the main character was a young man celebrating his birthday. He was having a party, and so he invited over all of his friends. As soon as the guests arrived, they rushed right past the birthday boy and on to the food and drinks. The guests immediately entertained themselves with each other’s company, all to the neglect of the one who invited them. They were carrying on lively conversations and even playing party games. When the birthday boy tried to join in the fun and games, he was quickly rebuked with the words: “Hey, do you mind? We’re trying to celebrate here!”

Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Though sadly enough, there is much truth beneath the silliness of this skit regarding the Christ of Christmas. Many celebrate the birthday without acknowledging Jesus Christ, the One whose birthday Christmas was meant to celebrate. The largest celebrated holiday in the country is simply that, a holiday – a far cry from a true Holy Day. Even when we see the popular Christmas slogan, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season,” the eternal implications wrapped up in this phrase go too often unnoticed. I want to take a few moments now to remind us all of some of those eternal implications surrounding the Christmas miracle. And it was indeed a miracle! God in the flesh…the Creator becoming created…the mother Mary, having been made by her own Son. Incredible isn’t it? But this is just the beginning.

In Luke 19:10, Jesus tells us why He came, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Paul also confirms this in 1 Timothy 1:15 “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” So the reason Jesus Christ was born in the flesh was to seek and save lost sinners – lost sinners such as you and me. Isaiah 53:6 says that ”All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way.” And Romans 3:10-12 tells us “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” These verses further clarify the need for God to come after us – for in our stubborn sin, we will not and cannot seek after the true God Who saves. So Christ comes into the world seeking and saving, but to do this He must come dying. You see, the wages (the cost, the price) for our sin is death (Romans 6:23). We must die not only a physical death, but an eternal death because of our sin. This is the only way a holy and just God can respond to sin. Sound like bad news? Here’s the good news, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” That is, in our place or, as a substitute. Christ came to seek and to save and to substitute Himself for sinners. Christ was born…to die. Christ gave His life as a sacrifice to God for sin. This sacrifice was a peace offering between a holy God and sinful man. The peace that we often sing about at Christmas time isn’t a warm, cozy feeling of peace. No, it’s a peace between God and man, and that without Christ as our peacemaker, we remain at war with God.
So, how can we have peace with the God of the universe? How can we be saved from sin by Christ the Savior? Allow me to end with probably the most well known verse in the Bible, John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” You see, because God loved, God gave. He gave the ultimate Gift of His Son to us, so that we might have eternal life and not eternal death.

So how do we obtain this gift of eternal life? The way we obtain any gift – we receive it. Receive the gift of Christ’s sacrifice by faith, believing Christ to be God in the flesh, Who was born in the manger to soon die on the cross to be the sufficient payment for your sins. Confess your sins and seek God’s forgiveness for them, and repent. Repentance is a conscience decision to turn from your sin, toward God. That’s faith in Christ and repentance towards God. What a great Christmas this would be if you received the eternal Christmas gift from God Himself, salvation from sins and everlasting life! If you have already received the gift of eternal life through Christ alone, remember to include Him in your Christmas celebration this season.

1 comment:

tnfpb said...

great post Aaron, I very true and very needed!