I know we’re approaching the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and that many of us call and participate in this tradition known as “Christmas”. And as wondrous as the birth of the promised Messiah is, even greater than the arrival of His Son, is the reason why our Father in heaven sent us His Son.
The scriptures declare that God is real, that He is holy and we are not and that we need a redeemer, a saviour, to bring us back into fellowship with God. The scriptures teach us, that we, in and of ourselves, cannot make ourselves holy like God, because it simply isn’t in us to consistently walk in harmony with God attributes or ways. So God sent us His Son, the promised Messiah, “the Anointed One”, to atone for that which separated us from God and open a way back for us, to the Father, through His Son.
Jesus was literally born and actually did all of the things that these scriptures say He did. Jesus did die on the cross and He did rise again from the dead. This “tradition” of Christmas, where some of us celebrate His birth, did not come about from nothing. It is based on historical facts and events. And no, were not talking about a specific date, we’re talking about an actual historical event that literally happened many years ago. The exact literal date of His birth isn’t really important but the reality of the event and it’s commemoration is.
And what is the message that these “scriptures” declare to us? As complicated as things can be, the message is relatively straight forward.
Luke 2:11 NIV “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
This tells us what happened.
John 3:16-18 NIV “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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
This tells us why it happened.
Colossians 1:19-20 NIV “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
This tells us how it happened.
So Jesus knew His mission, the “work” that He alone had been called to do and Jesus knew how it would be brought about. But Jesus’ life was not taken from Him. Jesus knew what God’s purpose was and He knew exactly why it was necessary. And Jesus willingly laid down His life for us.
John 10:18 NIV “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Matthew 26:50-54 NIV “Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
Jesus willingly laid down His life as an act and expression of love on behalf of God our Father, to reconcile us back to Himself. Jesus did for us, what we in and of ourselves, could never do. And the simplicity of God’s message is that we are reconciled to God our Father, through faith in what Jesus has accomplished for us.
John 15:13-15 NIV “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
So our “celebration” of the birth of Jesus is just the beginning. And while we may participate in celebrating our families gathering together, exchanging gifts, enjoying festive meals and fellowship with one another. if we miss the message that the Christ child ushered in, we’ve missed it ALL.
When Jesus uttered “It is finished” on the cross (John 19:28-30 NIV), it is only finished for those who accept who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. For those who don’t accept who He is and what He has done, it hasn’t really even begun. Even though Jesus did accomplish all that our Father asked of Him, one still has to truly believe who Jesus is, what He accomplished and follow the commandments of Jesus, to receive the benefits of God’s promise.
How many Christmases have you experienced without experiencing the reality of knowing Jesus?
Do you ever wonder how it is that you may have repeatedly missed that?
Traditions have no real divine meaning if they are not directly associated with divine truth and our tradition of Christmas is no exception.
Jesus is indeed the reason for the season.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!