It’s Christmas Eve. The presents are wrapped. The tree is glittering. And I’m enjoying live Christmas music from Duke Chapel now that the breakfast prep is done.
It’s all wonderful, but Christmas is so much more than gifts that fade, glitter that tarnishes and food that becomes a memory.
Christmas is God sending Someone to save us from something. While enjoying the season let’s not miss what the angel proclaimed: Good news of great joy to all people.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
Jesus is a Savior. So what did He come to save us from?
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt 1:21)
No matter how much we have, there are always deficiencies, insuffciencies that we cannot overcome. We, on our own, are never enough to cover every need. We don’t have the resources to save ourselves from the randomness of everyday life or the sin of our own souls.
No one living on the planet has to be told they sin and are powerless to stop sinning on their own. Life teaches that. And we intuitively understand that sin can’t simply be forgiven. It must be atoned for.
How can a mortal man atone for his own sin to the satisfaction of a holy God? The birth of Jesus Christ is God’s loving solution to that problem.
The Bethlehem manger is the starting point of Christ’s 33-year journey to die on a cross and rise from the grave having paid our sin debt in full.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:8-9)
In all the Amazon deliveries, gift wrapping, social media postings and menu planning, please don”t miss the profound simplicity of Christmas.
Jesus Himself is The Gift of Christmas. In Him, God offers salvation for free to anyone who will accept it. Anyone.
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11)