We all know the story. In fact, the whole world knows this story. As those who are genuinely heart-set on being a disciple of His and are sincerely sorry for our sin, we know the REAL meaning of Christmas. Christ had one mission, and that was to take God’s wrath for our sin. Not a pretty sight to think about at this time of year, is it? But once we do grasp this truth, we can be grateful in watching His life as He grew up and in being observant we can see what He did and how Christ used the word of God to combat and point out unrepentant sin.
Before you wake up to Santa coming, and then open your gifts, look at One that doesn’t look like a present, but is the PRESENCE of God Almighty come to earth as a child to die for us. Seriously, we had no hope of eternal life without Jesus Christ’s brutal criminal’s death and payment of our sins.
Mary and I were studying the Bible in Exodus where the tabernacle building instructions were given to Moses. We were reading about the making of the bronze altar. To us, this seemed brutal to kill an innocent animal for our sin and was offensive to us. I had a thought interrupt my thoughts: “I am offended at you.” Whoa, that set me back on my heels! I sensed the context though was in love. The offense was our sin. The solution was Him. Then another thought crossed: “If the lamb was to be without blemish why was Christ brutally beaten?” This thought so perplexed me that I sat in wonderment of the question. I said: “Yes, that is true. How then can Jesus Christ be our “Passover lamb”? Answer: “He was sinless and thus without blemish.” “Ah…then ok. But then Lord, why was He brutally beaten like a criminal?” Answer: “Because people are criminals before God because of our sin.” And this type of punishment was used during Roman times when slaves started to rebel. As the rebellion of the servant continued the discipline ramped up to the viciousness, we saw meted out to Jesus…our babe in the manger. No one but God could take the wrath of God, someone said. Feel free to let that sink in. (As an aside; we were created for Him to serve Him and by default are His servants…but many of us don’t act like we are. We are rebellious toward God’s Word and Will and deserve these punishments.)
What caused the need for His death and the wrath of God poured out on Him? Unrepentant sin. What causes evil in the world? Unrepentant sin. We have a theory: Were religions and legalism created by men to cover unrepentant sin?
Christ’s first words at the start of His ministry were: Matthew 4:16-17… “16the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” 17From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
We have seen a great light, and so did the wise men. They were wise because they followed the starlight to the King of the Universe and gave Him gifts. Their wisdom came in obedience to God. We must act in accordance. As we celebrate Jesus Christ birth, let us examine our hearts with the light of the Holy Spirit for unrepentant sin in our lives to be pleasing servants. Then ask Him to empower us to keep His Word which He gladly does! Our gift back to Him so to speak. Immanuel comes in a manger and God is indeed with us!
Forever grateful for His Coming,
Ric and Mary Joyner