It is easy to look past the meaning of Christmas, or even to simplify it in some regard this time of the year. Family is coming in town, last minute shopping, getting the holiday ham ready, and a host of other issues will come up. We will attend candle light services, sing sweet hymns, and put up our nativity scenes. All very fine things to do, but do we take the time to sit and really think about the meaning of Christmas. I am not talking about just the birth of Christ, but the reason for the birth of Christ. Not just the life he lived, but what that means for His most prized creation? Not just about the gift we received, but what we are to do with it?
The Reason He Came
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16-17
He came because there was a problem. Creation had sinned and death had entered (Romans 5:12), His most beloved creation was separated from Him. By nature now, we are creatures of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). Enter the Christ, fully man and fully God. He came to make a way for his creation. Here is God’s love in giving his Son for the world (v. 16), where we have three things as Matthew Henry lays out:
1. The great gospel mystery revealed: God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son. The love of God the Father is the original of our regeneration by the Spirit and our reconciliation by the lifting up of the Son.
2. Here is the great gospel duty, and that is to believe in Jesus Christ(Whom God has thus given, given for us, given to us ), to accept the gift, and answer the intention of the giver. We must yield an unfeigned assent and consent to the record God hath given in his word concerning his Son. God having given him to us to be our prophet, priest, and king, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him.
3. Here is the great gospel benefit:That whosoever believes in Christ shall not perish. This he had said before, and here repeats it. It is the unspeakable happiness of all true believers, for which they are eternally indebted to Christ.
What it means
The point of His birth and life is everything that leads up to and comes through Easter. He reconciled His people back to a personal relationship with God. Not only that, but not just for Israel but all people have the promise of Christ. Because of Romans 5:12 we are all subjects of death. We need a substitute and we needed the law to be fulfilled and obeyed. Jesus Christ came and did that, and it counts for you and me. The righteousness of Christ and the blood of Christ counts for us (Romans 5:19).
What we do
We go to the ends off the earth as Christ laid out in Matthew 28. We go and tell the world about this gift that is available, that we received and we wish for them to as well. We remember the miracle of the birth of Jesus, we remember His life and obedience, we remember his death and resurrection, and we humbly and lovingly and relentlessly tell the world about it.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. Soli Deo Gloria