Last week’s blog explained that Christmas is the second most important event in history, and it is the second most important holiday behind Easter, or more correctly, Resurrection Sunday. This week I’ll explain why Christmas is ultimately more for God’s sake than it is for yours. That may seem like a contradiction and in conflict with the Bible, but it isn’t when you understand the holiday from God’s perspective and context. I’ve explained why everything God has done from creating the universe onward is for His sake in a previous blog, “For God’s Sake”, so I won’t repeat myself here. This week I’ll explain why ,when Christmas is ultimately for God’s sake it is also very much for your sake.
Christmas being for God’s benefit seems contradictory at first. It doesn’t seem to make sense, common or otherwise. The best way to understand this concept is to remember that God is our Father in heaven, and that He created the universe and everything in it. He is our spiritual Father, and as such He has a vested interest in us as His creations, and Christians as His children. The parents reading this may be starting to catch on to where I’m going this week. Everything a parent does for his or her child is as much for their sake as it is for the child’s, if they want to be honest about it. Parents want to see their children succeed in life. They want their children to be safe, to have a good education and to be happy and successful. Therefore, they are happy when everything goes well for their children. They feel a sense of well being and accomplishment when their children do well, and they become upset when an errant child misbehaves because they know the harm the child’s behavior can cause him or her. And they feel pain when a child becomes ill, is injured or dies. So it is for their sake as well as the child’s benefit that they set limits on the child’s behavior, and for their sake that parents sometimes are injured or killed protecting their children. It is why a parent will run into a burning home to rescue a child, even if that child isn’t theirs.
The same is true of God. He wants you to be happy, to be successful, safe and to have a productive life. And He wants you to be able to get out of this world alive. It is for these reasons He came into the world as Jesus. He came into our worldly existence to interact with His creation. He set an example for how we are to live and interact with other people and to lay the foundation for the New Covenant (Testament) that He gave to us with His physical death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.
John 3:16, which is more about Easter, tells us why Christmas is important. God so loves you that He came into this world as a human with the express purpose of dying a humiliating, excruciating death on the cross so that you may live with Him in heaven forever. God incarnated as Jesus and dying on he cross in your place, to pay for your sins so that you can live in heaven with Him forever, is the reason He came into the world as a baby on the day we celebrate as Christmas. Christmas is the start of God’s earthly ministry that leads to your salvation and mine, and all Christians. Whatever day it was, and no one knows exactly what day of the year Jesus was born, it was the start of the events leading to a new covenant between God and mankind.
Christmas initiated the process leading to the only way you and I can get out of our earthly life alive. It is the beginning of the only way God, who loves us very much- can have you and me with Him in heaven. And He very much wants us to be with Him. Why else would He deliberately come into this world and live the life of a homeless evangelist just to die a humiliating, painful death on the cross? God came into the world as Jesus because He is is your Father if you are a Christian, and He loves you very much. And, God loves you if you aren’t a Christian, but there is nothing He can do to save you if you don’t accept Jesus as your personal Savior. That’s because His sentence to die on the cross for your sin takes the place of you dying to Him when you leave this earth. It’s up to you where you spend eternity. Only you can make that decision. And, if you’re not a Christian, God is waiting for you to make that decision. What better time to say yes to eternal life, to say yes to being adopted into God’s family as His son or daughter, than in the season celebrating His coming into the world for His sake and for yours? Please make that decision now.