God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ who stepped down from His eternal transcending glory and heavenly throne so that He would come and dwell (tabernacle) with His people and to bring peace, salvation, and reconciliation to those who He loves.He initiated this restoration of man-kind and demonstrated His love toward us by coming in the flesh and living the life we could not live for the purpose of being our sacrifice and dying the death we deserve on the cross, so as to draw people to Himself as He brings peace and restoration to a dying and helpless world.
Jesus is the reason for the season because He brings reconciliation between us and God. The meaning of Christmas is not lights and presents and all the trapping of commercialism that pulls our focus off of Christ. Scripture teaches us that the meaning of Christmas is revealed in the story of God loving us enough to invade our world, live among us, and reveal Himself to us through Jesus Christ. The beauty of Christmas is the incarnation of Christ, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of GRACE and TRUTH (John 1:14).
The word incarnation means “in flesh” – God took on flesh and revealed Himself and dwelt among us. Let that truth and reality sink in and be in awe of His amazing love and wonder. It should bring us comfort and joy reminding us of the grace of God that became personified through the birth of Jesus Christ. In the incarnation, God invaded our world so that He could save sinners who are not able to save themselves. So this Prince of Peace who stepped down in the flesh and made an atonement for our sin and rose again is exalted on high seated at the right hand in the heavenly places who will one day – a day we’re still waiting for – He will bring peace to the world.
Before we trusted in Christ, we were in hostility with God because of our sin. We were in outright rebellion against our Creator and we were under His wrath. But when Christ came, He put an end to the hostility by offering His life in our place as payment for the penalty due for our sin (Eph.2:1-3, Col.2:13-14).
Because of Christ, we are forgiven and God’s justice is satisfied (Rom.3:24-26, Rom.5:1). Now, in Him, we are no longer at odds with God; He has adopted us into His family as sons and daughters. This is the depth of the peace that God the Son brought. God through Christ has provided a way for us to have peace with God if we receive it by faith. But God not only wants to save us but He wants to transform our broken hearts and make us new.
How does God’s justice through Christ’s death and resurrection bring us peace with God? Through His sacrificial death, Jesus satisfied the justice of God and paid the penalty our sin deserves. Through Christ, God demonstrated to humanity that He is both just and the justifier of those who come to faith through Christ (Rom.3:26).
When Christ died for us on the cross, it was the completion of the justice of God. He interceded on our behalf and experienced the full wrath of God on the cross. It was there that the justice of God was completely satisfied. Our sin needed to be punished, and it was. Because Jesus fully paid our penalty on the cross, those who put their trust in Christ are justified and freed from sin.
Through the incarnation, Jesus entered into our fallen world in order to place Himself under the Law of Moses. He did this to meet God’s requirement for humanity and to be the perfect sacrifice and substitute for man-kind.
His perfect life was the payment He submitted as a substitution for sinners on the cross. The evidence of this payment being accepted by God is His literal, physical, and visible resurrection from the grave (Rom.4:24-25).This is the wondrous gospel transaction, Jesus has taken our sin and given us His righteousness (2 Cor.5:21).
What things have distracted you from the true meaning of this Christmas season? It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the Christmas season – with all of the get-togethers with friends and family, and buying the perfect gifts, that we lose sight of the simple task of telling others about Jesus Christ.
The truth is this: Jesus not only came to save what was lost, but to also redeem a people who desire to do good for His glory and for the good of others. Salvation isn’t a passive experience that gives us the benefit of sitting on the sidelines while we watch the world go by. No salvation, in Christ is the very means by which we are empowered to actively live out our faith in plain sight to those around us.
When the holiday decorations and exchanging of gifts become a distraction, be reminded that Christmas is all about the truth that God loved us to the point of becoming like us in order to rescue us. And let the incarnation of Jesus inspire you and empower you to spend time with others this Christmas season, seeking to be a living witness to the truth that God cares and God gets involved.
Rejoice in the incarnation of Christ that brought salvation to this world and celebrate the real reason for the season – Jesus Christ!