Christmas is a wonderful time of year. We get look at all the lights and decorations. We have traditions such as certain cartoons and movies to watch, Christmas pajamas, and even gingerbread houses. We get to give and donate to those less fortunate and receive gifts from our friends. However, there was one Christmas night over two thousand years ago where we all received the ultimate gift.
You know the story. It's recorded in Matthew and Luke. We know that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, who was betrothed (in today's terms, this would be what we call engaged) to Joseph, a carpenter. At first, he was skeptical and thought she had cheated, and who wouldn't if put in Joseph's shoes?
Once the angel Gabriel came to him, Joseph believed Mary and stood by her side. People probably thought he was crazy and delusional, as they would if it were to happen in today's time, but we know that from the Old Testament scriptures, Jesus was to be born of the virgin.
Jesus's birth alone fulfilled over seventy prophecies. Bringing out my math major side, the probability of one person fulfilling that many prophecies are less than one percent, to put that in perspective. His life fulfilled so many more.
So why is Christmas so important? Why do we celebrate Christmas every year, and even Easter?
To answer that question, we have started in Genesis Chapter 3, where the fall of man happens. We see in that passage that God promises a Savior, a redeemer who will come forth and bridge the gap between us and God that sin has created.
Put simply, had God not kept His promise of sending Jesus as the Lamb for our sins, we would still be separated from God. We wouldn't have the bridge that He promised when Adam and Eve fell into sin by the temptation of the serpent. Without Jesus, there wouldn't be hope or an assurance of the eternal life we will have in Heaven beyond this life.
Without God sending Jesus, I don't believe I'd be where I am today. I have seen Jesus perform so many miracles, many of which I don't believe I deserved or expected. Jesus heals us spiritually, and I firmly believe that. If that were not the case, I believe I'd still be in the rebellious state I was in during my mid-teenage years.
Essentially, God sent Jesus to rescue us from eternal death. We all know John 3:16, but John 3:17 is equally important. It says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (ESV)." This verse shows us that God sent Jesus to be our Rescue Story (great song by Zack Williams that I encourage everyone who reads this to listen to). Through the cross, Jesus bridged the gap between us and God, allowing us to come into oneness with Him.
As I close this week, remember this time of year. Remember the sacrifice God and Jesus made for us. Remember that by sending Jesus to the earth through Mary, the virgin who God chose you be the mother of Jesus, God sent the ultimate gift to earth for us: the gift of eternal life.