Every year I see the real meaning of Christmas diluted just a little more by commercialism and by people’s desire to push aside the hard truths and “unsightly” reasons that God sent His Son to this earth in the first place. We want to make Christmas pretty and shiny and the truth is that my sin and your sin created a situation where God’s own Son was born into this earth, wrapped in the same sort of cloths used for burial, and laid into a dirty, stinky, muddy, feeding trough for farm animals.
Let’s take a few minutes and look at the real meaning of Christmas and why we should be celebrating.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT
Let’s be real here, humanity didn’t make it much past creation before we decided to break the one rule that God had given. Our world has been tarnished with the stain of sin ever since. Maybe I’m simplifying this too much but, in my mind our sin is our way of telling God that we don’t need Him. Just like a child our rebellion has to be punished and that punishment is physical death. If we don’t reconcile with God before we die, God allows our choice of saying that we don’t need Him (our sinfulness) to result in eternal separation from Him not by His choosing, but by His honoring our choice.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV
This could have been the end of the matter and God could have destroyed His brand new creation, but He didn’t. Instead, He made a sacrifice of Himself to pay for our sin so that we don’t have to, but just like our sin was a choice we must make the choice to accept His way to be reconciled with Him.
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NLT
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NKJV
The very essence of this verse should tell us just how much God loves us. His love reaches so very far that He was willing to sacrifice His own Son to die in our place so that we might have a way to be saved from eternal separation from Him simply by believing in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection back into life, and also by following His example and turning away from our sin.
Herein lies the beauty and glory of Christmas. God’s Son born into humanity to grow up and to show us how to live before making the ultimate sacrifice and dying to pay the price for our sin. With these truths in mind let’s re-read the highlights of this beautiful story.
And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35 NKJV
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 NKJV
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 NKJV
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Luke 2:21 NKJV
Let’s remember this Christmas that the greatest gift ever given to us was actually one of beauty, bitter sorrow and pain, and of the sweetness and newness of both birth and of re-birth. Christmas is just one small part in a larger story that we must remember in it’s fullness. This is a story not only the birth of God’s Son into this world but of the beginning of a story that led to His death and of our celebration at Easter of His resurrection back to life after paying for my sin and your sin.
This Christmas gift is one that if we just accept it we carry with us for the rest of our lives. This Christmas gift is one that gives us hope, a hope and security that we will be with God for all eternity, an eternity without pain, sorrow, loneliness, and despair.
But as with any gift, each and every one of us must make a choice to accept and live by every remaining day of our natural lives.
So I ask you this one question; will you take His gift for you from under the tree?
If you choose to take the gift as I have, I can assure you that you won’t regret it! As we celebrate this Christmas let’s remember to reflect on this amazing gift from God. I think it’s best said in the words of the Apostle Paul “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” 2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT
If you haven’t yet accepted God’s gift of salvation and you would like to know more, please click this link to my post “The Most Important Thing!”.