THE REASON FOR CHRISTMAS
Monday, December 25, 2017
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“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins’.” Matthew 1:21

Several dramatic events surround the birth of Jesus: the divine conception of the virgin, Mary, the magi from the Far East on a long trek across a desert, following the brightest star in search of the long-awaited King; the timing of the Roman census, forcing the arduous journey to Bethlehem; no room at the inn and settling into a stable; the actual birth of the Messiah; shepherds terrified by the sudden glory of the Lord appearing, but then given the Good News by a host of heavenly angels; the magi commissioned by the evil intentions of Herod to report back to him, which they did not, and then a sudden flight to Egypt…. Considerable drama, but nothing at all compared to the dynamic reason Jesus was born.

The life of Jesus is the most profound and priceless gift God offers to everyone; a Saviour, the reason Jesus was born. “Jesus” means “saviour” and “Emmanuel”, the other name given to Him at birth, means “God with us”. Jesus came into the world so that on the basis of forgiveness, God could be with us through His Son. To understand the need for forgiveness, we need to understand the gravity of sin and how it grieves God. He is first and foremost a God of justice. Without forgiveness, we remain in our sin, alienated from God. In His great love for us, God put His plan in place and offers everyone the opportunity to be reconciled to Him through His Son, so that they may have life.

Born of the virgin, Mary, Jesus had no sin, and grew to be the only one capable to offer Himself as the unblemished Lamb who would stand in our place, and take upon Himself the sin of the world. We cannot separate Christ's birth from His death. To understand His birth, we need to leave Bethlehem behind and go about ten kilometres up the road to Jerusalem. It is there, at the cross of Jesus, the penalty for our sin was paid, and this is the only means by which the life of God is restored into human experience.

Christmas is the beginning of the story of our salvation; a baby born in Bethlehem, sent into this world by a loving God to become the pure and flawless lamb to die in our stead. Christians celebrate the birth of our Saviour, because as the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “He will save His people from their sins,” and they know they are the sinners He came to save.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, today more than any other day, I thank You for coming to earth to save me from my sin. Thank You for Your sacrifice and Your never-ending love. In Your precious name, I pray. Amen.


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