Many think Christmas is about love, giving, kindness, unity, feasting, among other things. All these are okay, but are they ‘IT’? There is also another group of people who take it as a time to participate in demeaning and degrading vices. Illicit behavior and indulgence plague the season of our savior’s birth! Paradoxical right? How does such indulgence resonate with the appreciation of Emmanuel? Why did Jesus have to come to earth?
To Give Us Eternal Salvation
Paul told Timothy that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom he was the foremost (1 Timothy 1:15). The writer of Hebrews echoes the same truths that Christ appeared to take away sin (Hebrews 9:26). Moreover, Christ, in John 6:51, assures that anyone who eats his bread will live forever.
Jesus was born not so much for us to have a holiday but to give us the ultimate gifts of true freedom and eternity. He came essentially to save his own from sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Sinners are rebellious people who have chosen to live contrary to God’s desires. Sinners are not sinners because of bad behavior but because they have refused to live under the rule and guidance of God. Sinners are as such because of spiritual deadness, not necessarily behavioral. Jesus came to put away sin by his sacrifice. The prize was fully paid for.
Christmas should serve to remind us that our sins were and are beyond our ability to atone for, hence the reason Jesus had to come and bridge the gap, pay the debt, and give us eternal life. When talking to Zaccheus, Jesus confidently proclaimed that he came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:5, 9-10). What did he come to save the lost from? The wrath of God, the damning and deceptive grip of sin, and the lures of our desires/flesh.
To Destroy the Devil and His Works
When Christ was born, a great massacre took place, like it was in the days of Moses in Exodus (Exodus 1: 15-22). Small children were killed because the evil one thought he could devise a plan to thwart God’s intentions (Isaiah 43:13). Yet we know that whatever God has purposed cannot be stopped. Nobody can turn back his hand (Isaiah 14:27). The devil tricked Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and they sadly fell for it (Genesis 3). In his mercy and grace, God already had a plan (Genesis 3:15). Since then, the devil has been actively working on how to stumble anyone intending to walk the path of righteousness.
The works of the devil are evident. Jesus said in John 10:10 that the devil’s agenda is threefold: to kill, steal, and destroy. Galatians 5:19-23 breaks down how it all plays out. Sadly, in this festive season, the works of the devil thrive the most. In 1 John 3:8, John writes that the Son of God appeared to destroy the devil’s works (Hebrews 2:14). In this season, you can know true freedom!
To Satisfy our Deepest Thirsts
All of us were created with a God-sized hole in our hearts, a God-sized need in us, a God-sized hunger that only God can quench. However, sin thrives where darkness and compromise exist. When sin has grown, we try to satisfy our inner, deeper thirst with lesser things. After the fall, we lost our security, acceptance, and significance, which were firmly found in our Creator, God. Now, many gratify these needs with empty idols. Jeremiah 2:13 reminds us that our cisterns are faulty and introduce more problems into our lives, leaving us much less satisfied.
In the Bible, we see various examples of vain sources of gratification. People’s approval didn’t sustain King Saul’s power. Sex with another person’s wife didn’t bring David happiness—the same case for the Samaritan woman and the woman caught in adultery. Power and fame never lasted for King Nebuchadnezzar. Idolatry only led the children of Israel into trouble with God. Riches didn’t give King Solomon and the rich man eternal life. Money couldn’t save Judas and Zaccheus. In John 4:13-14, Jesus uses the analogy of water to explain that only those who drink from him will never be thirsty again. The water he gives is such that it genuinely and fully satisfies our thirst. Those who drink from other sources, such as sex, fame, and riches, will, in the end, still be left high and dry.
Casting Crowns penned down the following lyrics: All who thirst will thirst no more; All who search will find what their souls long for; The world will try, but it can never fill; So leave it all behind, come to the well!
To Bring Judgment
Jesus said, “For judgment, I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind” (John 9:39). Everyone is blind without the savior. Still, Jesus has come to give sight to those who seek it and confirm the deception of those who think they can see without having him, the light of the world (John 9:39-41). The Pharisees were up in arms because of their self-righteousness; therefore, their judgment was sure!
Many of us today skeptically say, like the Pharisees, “Are we also blind?” Jesus responds that we are better off agreeing that without him, we are blind because he would give us sight. The sight he gives us is what is called imputed righteousness (Philippians 3:1-10). We are guilty as charged if we insist on being right by ourselves!
Many Jesus haters and mockers will go to the streets in the coming weeks to ‘celebrate’ the savior’s coming in very antichrist ways. They’ll say they have sight and are okay. If you agree that you are blind without the savior within, then there is hope for sight. God knows our hearts. Saying “Merry Christmas” to others does not prove that you honor the savior, nor does it remove the judgment upon the unrighteous. Rev Marvin once said, “Unless we agree and run to the cross for mercy and salvation, the Christmas season will eternally stand as evidence against many of us that there was never an excuse for dying in sin and ignorance!”
To Reign as King
It is important for us to move beyond empty words and fake devotion, especially during this season, because Jesus came to reign as King and not to be babysat! He is currently not the tiny baby in a manger. He is the lion of Judah. The root of David. The creator and ultimate destroyer of all things. The restorer of ruined walls. The King of majesty.
For this reason, he came to reign! Your arguments don’t matter. Whether you will call yourself Generation Z or post-millennial, atheist, traditionalist, liberal, grace dispensationalist, or whatever else we want to hide under. His word is eternal, and his rule is unmatched! Paul said in Philippians 2:10-11 that every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Kings do not request for submission. Kings do not put their kingdoms at stake because of exiles and intruders. Those who do not submit usually face the full wrath of the King. You are better off knowing Christ as King and Savior, not as judge! And because he is King, his verdict is already out there; whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. Whosoever does not believe stands condemned (John 3:16,18). Where do you want to stand tonight? With the King in his courts as his servant, or against the King, outside his courts awaiting his vengeance?
The Christmas season is to indeed be merry, but not because we gave, ate, traveled, and went for carols-filled services. These are good things, but they are not to be the ultimate reason for Christmas. Merry or joy comes as we all understand the blessedness of having our sins forgiven and the King on our side. Do you want to have a truly merry Christmas? Come to Emmanuel Today!