Believe this Christmas
How would you describe God’s coming to earth on the first Christmas?
- like nothing ever before or since
- an amazing spectacle
- an influential proclamation
- no happening with more impact
- unparalleled in human history
- unprecedented in the socioeconomic strata
- unmatched in the geopolitical climate of the world
Current culture describes Christmas as:
- Santa Claus
- Frosty the Snow Man
- The Grinch
- Christmas trees and lights
- presents from wish lists
- trending on social media
How far has human sentiment fallen from that faithful night, the night Heaven came to earth? This great visitation should stand gloriously unique, unprecedented in human history. The Divine inserted Himself into humanity as a human baby. Jesus, a baby born in a manger, grew to be the acceptable sacrifice, the Lamb of God. The baby, who grew to be a sinless man, made the way for all to enjoy a relationship with God.
The story of the first Christmas claims the greatest title ever given – The Good News. So on that spectacular night, the angel of the heavenly host heralded forth The Good News of Jesus Christ and His mission to save the world.
Behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:9–12 NKJV)
That glorious night God’s messengers announced His greatest work. That night God’s shepherds proclaimed His greatest purpose. That night Heaven’s choir celebrated the coming of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:12–14 NKJV)
Jesus Christ is God’s gift for all people! “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8 NKJV). How is it then that we celebrate this amazing gift? Do we merely seek to indulge ourselves and others with meager gifts of human effort? Have we forgotten the significance of the first advent of Christ? Has the baby crying in a manger lost its redemptive power in our minds?
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ, therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (Rom. 5:17–18 NKJV)
Christmas embodies the prophecy, “‘Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matt. 1:23 ESV). Christmas is specifically the fulfillment of John 1:14, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (ESV).
To be sure, we connect to the blessing of Christmas only when the glory of Christ’s coming is celebrated. Our celebrations should serve as a reminder of God’s grace, and Christ’s redemptive gift. Our joy should come from sins forgiven and a righteous relationship restored for all who believe.
God, I believe that because of the sin of Adam death rules over us. But even greater is Your wonderful grace and Your gift of righteousness. I believe that all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Adam’s one sin brought condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with You and new life for everyone. I believe that because one person disobeyed You, many became sinners. But I also believe that because one other person obeyed You, many will be made righteous. Thank You for saving me by Your grace when I believed. I know I can’t take credit for this; it is Your gift. Thank You for Your indescribable gift! . . . (Rom. 5:17–19; Eph. 2:8; 2 Cor. 9:15)
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