As December 25 draws near, the meaning of this time of year can easily get lost in translation. With all of the to-do lists, gifts, events and matching pajamas — what is Christmas even about anymore?
For the longest time, Christmas was kept in perspective. Christians recognized it as a day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It wasn’t until the 20th century that non-believers began to celebrate the holiday. Not in the same way, though. Instead, Jesus was replaced with Santa Claus and the time of remembrance was replaced with busyness.
This is not okay, but why? Why does it matter if we celebrate the birth of Jesus or not? What is so important about Jesus being the reason for the season?
It matters because of Jesus’ death. Without the birth of Jesus, there would be no death meant to redeem us.
The Christmas story is the beginning of my story and your story. The Christmas story is the beginning of the salvation story.
Because of what went down in Genesis 3, all of mankind was born into sin. We were without hope and in desperate need of a Savior (Romans 3:23). But God, being rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:4-5). It was the love of God that made a way for us to experience reconciliation to Himself through His Son, Jesus.
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. – Ephesians 2:4-5
And this wouldn’t have been possible without Jesus entering the world as an infant.
That is the joy of Christmas. The perfect sinless, fully God, fully man, Son of God stepped down into a broken world so that we would have everlasting life. It’s an overwhelming thought.
The Gospel was set in motion the day Jesus was born. I was able to experience the hope and joy found in Jesus because of what happened thousands of years ago in that city of Bethlehem. In God’s great providence, a baby was born to a young virgin girl and His name was called Immanuel, God with us.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” – Matthew 1:22-23
That same baby grew into a man that lived a sinless life, died a horrific death, and resurrected on the third day to bring us eternal life. By defeating death, those who are in Christ no longer fear death (1 Corinthians 15:55). Until the end of the age, Jesus continues to promise that He will remain with us (Matthew 28:20).
God with us.
With everything happening around me, this is easy to forget. During this Christmas season and frankly, every day in between, I’m striving to remember this truth. Jesus is with us.
Knowing this, we can share the good news of the Gospel with excitement and joy in the next couple of weeks. As Christmas day gets closer, there’s no better time to let the world know. With the birth of our King, the Gospel is brought to life.
It was Christmas that made the Gospel possible, and it’s through the Gospel that we experience salvation.
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