Ben Owens | December 11, 2019
Some people regard Christmas as childish. You know the kind of person I mean. The jaded cynic who views the whole deal as nothing more than a colorful, brightly-lit distraction from the regular hardships of life. The truth is, these folks are missing the point. Christmas is not about escaping reality. It’s not a time to pretend the world isn’t broken. It’s a time to celebrate the mind-blowing news that God has provided a solution.
See, we all know the world is messed up. And not just the world out there. We are messed up. You and me. We spend a lot of time doing things we know we shouldn’t. And we spend a lot of time not doing what we know we should. The Bible calls this sin. We sin when we disobey our Creator.
Sin makes us feel guilty. Sin wrecks our relationships. Worst of all, sin wrecks our relationship with God. It alienates us from our sinless Creator. And, one day, our Creator will be our perfect, all-knowing Judge. His justice will not allow our sin to go unpunished. The Bible says that all sinners will ultimately face the death penalty, including hell. We don't just feel guilty; we are guilty. But don’t tune out just yet!
Because here’s where things get good. Christmas is the story of God’s Great Rescue Mission. God saw that the human race was lost in sin, but He didn’t abandon us. He came down to be our Savior. For centuries, God had promised a Divine Rescuer. One who would pay the penalty for sin, and make a way for all people to be forgiven, reconciled to God and redeemed from the power of sin. Jesus was the fulfillment of those promises. The Christmas story is not about a cute baby. It is the historical account of God’s beachhead landing in enemy-occupied territory.
God, the Creator of all things, humbled himself, came to earth and took on a human body to be our Savior. His death on the cross was not an unfortunate twist ending. It was the point. Jesus came to be our substitute, to take our penalty. That’s what the cross was about. Jesus satisfied God’s justice on our behalf so we could be released from the guilt of our sin. He proved it all by rising from the dead. It was the overwhelming evidence for Jesus’ resurrection that launched Christianity in a hostile world. The truth couldn’t be stopped.
And now, on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice, God offers forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation and new life. He offers a new family and a future in heaven. All He requires is that we respond rightly. God wants repentance and faith. Repentance is a willingness to turn from our life of sin. It’s a willingness to turn our backs on the idea that we can work it out ourselves. Faith is the other side of the coin. It’s turning to God. It’s not a blind leap in the dark. Rather, it’s a choice to place all of our confidence, our trust in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us. Have you done that? Have you trusted Jesus Christ?
Jesus once promised that if you come to Him, you “will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Here at PABC, we love helping people find the freedom that only Jesus can give. We'd love to help you.
Jesus changes everything. He's why we’re here. And He’s why we celebrate at Christmas.