It is only five days until Christmas Day, and throughout this season many people have been celebrating love, laughter, family, friends, and the spirit of giving. As Christians, we are specifically remembering the birth of Jesus Christ during this festive time of year. While much emphasis is rightfully placed on the event of Christ’s birth in the stable, this divinely orchestrated occasion was an outward demonstration of God the Father’s immense love for all mankind. The Bible says that this baby would be called Immanuel, whose name means “God with us” (Is 7:14, Matt 1:22-23). I wonder if you have recently taken time to stop and think about the meaning behind this name? At Christmas time, we are celebrating more than Christ’s birth… we are celebrating the fact that God chose to come dwell among us in human form, through Jesus, for the specific purpose of paying the penalty for our sin, so that we might dwell with Him forever.
Back in the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, mankind deliberately chose to go his and her own way instead of God’s (Gen 3:6, Rom 5:12). While this decision’s consequences drove all of us on a collision course toward destruction, God did not “clean His hands” of us and simply leave all mankind to receive our just reward. No, instead He chose to provide a different option for each man, woman, boy, and girl. Why? Because of love. God loves us so much that He chose to lay aside His divine robes and become a man (Phil 2:8). As a man, Jesus taught, healed, loved, and then paid the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross for the sins of the World (John 3:16, Is 53:7).
This Christmas, have you stopped to thank God for His demonstration of love in sending you and me the gift of His precious Son? May we each choose to remember the true reason for this Christmas season, and may we take the time to offer our adoration and allow Christ to use us to shine His light to others.
Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passage references are in the King James Version (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).