Christmas… To some of us it means the hushed stillness of a snowy night, red noses above heavy mufflers, and loved ones gathering around the Christmas tree. Some of us think of it in terms of office parties, hectic preparations, crowded malls, jostling crowds, ringing bells, and perpetual Christmas songs pouring out of every department store loudspeaker. Children dream of gifts, Santa Claus and Rudolph, and perhaps Frosty, the snowman… Many look with sad misgivings at the commercialism, deceit of tradition, rioting and religious misunderstanding that shrouds this season. Sadly, many of the traditions accompanying this human holiday are contrary to the moral principles of Christianity. If this is all it is, why would Christians even recognize it? Well, this is not all there is to it, there is so much more.
This is a grand opportunity to retell the good news heralded by the angels in Luke 2:8-11. We don’t know what time of year it was for Scripture does not tell us. We do know it took place almost 2,000 years ago, when the Son of God chose to leave the glory of heaven to be born of a virgin into the humblest of circumstances. He came in meekness and into poverty: a servant… These things are familiar to most of us, but there is even more. You see, He came to die.
He lived a sinless life, not just to become our example, but because He was the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God, “without spot or blemish.” He ministered to mankind, healing the sick, raising the dead, and thus proving that He was indeed “God with us.” Yet He was rejected of man and persecuted. At the appointed time, according to prophecy, He was seized by human hands, bound, beaten, reviled, and finally nailed to a cross. There the King of Glory suffered and ultimately laid down His life (because nobody could take it from Him), bearing in His body the awful (but just) penalty for OUR sins, YOURS AND MINE, so that our salvation THROUGH HIM might be complete, totally paid for and FREE. But there is more.
He arose from the grave and sat down at the right hand of God the Father because His sacrificial work was finished. There He lives today: a risen Savior, our High Priest and the ONLY mediator between God and man: the Lord Jesus Christ. But there is yet more: He will come again!
Yes, He will come again soon, VERY SOON! Again He will come according to prophecy, but this time not in meekness and as a servant, but in all of His glory, as the King of kings and Lord of lords, together with the armies of His saints. At that moment man’s opportunity for salvation will end. For those who have consistently rejected Him there will be no second chance.
Still there is more…
While we so joyfully and often carelessly get swept away with the preparations for the holidays and with all the commercialism that goes with them, let us not forget that there is so much more: such rich salvation, free and paid for with His blood, ready for us to reach out and claim through faith and trust in Him. Let us not be guilty of the ultimate sin: the rejection of the Son of God and His finished work. Instead, let us come to Him in repentance and turn from our sins, follow Him, and know the great blessing of deep and abiding peace with God.
In these final days and troubled times we need this anchor more than ever. Let us heed the timeless Bible warning, which also applies to us: PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD. He is coming soon.
When we know Him, we need nothing more.