THE GIFT OF CHRIST
Regardless of the actual date when Jesus’ birth occurred, we know that He was born. So it is appropriate for those of us who love Him to celebrate His birthday annually. Several countries all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Here in the United States, we celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th. Reflecting back on that magical point in time when Christ was born is something we Christians should try and do each year. Here is one way to view the birth of Jesus Christ when reflecting back.
The sovereign God that created this remarkable universe, this amazing earth, and mankind in His image is—perfect. His work is perfect and His timing is perfect. The Apostle Paul describes this magical time of Jesus’ birth in this way, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Gal 4:4-7)
Paul explains that “the fullness of time had come.” Thousands of years prior to the birth of Jesus, God had created the Heavens and the Earth. His creation was perfect, and we must remember, this creation included perfect people. We should also recall that God created all things through Jesus Christ. The Apostle John speaks of the creation in his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:1-4)
So, in the beginning we have a perfect creation. God wanted His relationship with mankind to be authentic—so He gave people the right to choose. Unfortunately, the perfect humans chose to disobey God causing the creation to be broken. This brokenness ended man’s privilege of living in the presence of a completely Holy God. This act of disobedience opened the floodgate of brokenness—the creation suffered with the introduction of suffering, disease, deception, fear, death—the list seems endless. The couple’s first-born son, in a matter of years, actually murdered his own brother.
Centuries passed. God chose to make Abraham the patriarch of His people. These people became the nation of Israel. Through Moses, God, led these people to the Promised Land and gave them His law. This law showed men the extent of our brokenness—so God required men to sacrifice animals each time they stumbled. The blood—the most basic building block of life—required to cover our disobedience. The animals’ blood was just a placeholder, a placeholder leading up to the fullness of time.
You see, when time had become “full,” God implemented His plan of redemption. Jesus Christ stepped down from heaven and was born of a virgin mother and His Heavenly Father. This Son of our most gracious and loving Creator chose to come to earth, take on the fragile body of a human, and redeem God’s people unto Himself! Men needed a savior, men needed to be rescued from the misery of a broken creation. We needed Jesus Christ. So, at the perfect time, when time had become “full”, Jesus Christ stepped down from heaven to die on a cross. His blood was shed, once for all, to redeem all God’s people. This is the gift of Jesus Christ! No more attempting to live under the law, no more animal sacrifices—now man would have the opportunity to be in relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
For those of us that choose to follow Jesus Christ—we are guaranteed an eternity in heaven. We know that the law shows us right from wrong and we strive to do right. But when we stumble, we also know that our savior is there to forgive us. This is our special Christmas Gift—Jesus. He took our wrongs to the grave, left them there, and rose from the dead; defeating death. He showed us that He has the power of God, to bring the dead to life and to make “all things new!”
Jesus is coming soon. If you want to learn more, I urge you to attend a local Christian church.