On December 25 we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But we do not really know on what day He was born, and it does not even matter.
So “what” is Christmas? It is a time of year that we take to reflect on His birth, which meant that He came to earth as a humble baby, and was born to a virgin as the Son of God on earth – Emmanuel – God with us!
As we contemplate this we begin to understand why He came. We have been separated from God by our sin, but God provided the way to come back to Him. The first “Christmas” verse in the Bible is Genesis 3:15 “I (God) will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” He came to conquer sin and death!
He came to 1) reveal who God is, 2) to show us the love of God and 3) to restore our relationship with God.
- He came to reveal who God is:
Until we really see God’s true character we may feel that:
God is distant and detached
God is uncaring and unconcerned
and God is unmerciful and unpleasant
But in Jesus we see that:
God is loving
God is forgiving
and God has a plan for our lives
- He came to show us the love of God:
Think about these two statements you may have heard many times during the Christmas season:
The best expression of love is not your presents, but your presence.
Love is not about getting, but giving.
These are great thoughts but we need to remember that God did not just send a present.
He came Himself to give Himself!.
“God showed how much He love us by sending His only Son into the world that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love that God sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” I John 4:9-10 (NLT)
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” John 3:16 (NLT)
How great is this love for us! It is four-dimensional:
“May you be able to feel and understand how long, how wide, how deep and how high
God’s love really is and to experience this love for yourself.” Eph 3:18,19 (LB)
LONG: Long enough to last forever.
WIDE: Wide enough to be everywhere.
DEEP: Deep enough to handle any hurt you give Him – or any problem.
HIGH: High enough to look over our mistakes.
I am thankful that God’s love is based on His character, not ours. He loves us unconditionally.
- He came to restore our relationship with God:
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.” Eph 1:5 (NLT)
The Bible says that God made you to love Him.
“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” Romans 5:11 (NLT)
Jesus didn’t come to start a religion, or to require the keeping of rules, but to build a relationship with us.
“You’re all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26 (NLT)
Let’s not miss the “Who” of Christmas!
It’s not about what’s under the tree – It’s about Who hung on the cross.
– David Arnold