I don’t know about you, but in the past Christmas has been all about Santa, the presents, and the parties for me. This Christmas Season God has convicted me to really focus on the reason for the Christmas season and to see Christ in all of his fullness. Not only the reason but the depth of the weight that it holds in our hearts. In this blog post, I want to talk about the meaning of Jesus’ birth, the moment when God came into a world full of deep sorrow that really needed a savior. He is the source of great joy that we celebrate. This year I want Jesus at the center and to adore Him above all.
The Christmas season is the busiest time of year. Maybe this year is extra hard for you, the table looks different because of the loss of loved ones. Maybe you don’t know how your story will turn into a happy ending. You may feel worthless. You may question why God would send His Son into this cruel and dark world?
During the Christmas season, we are supposed to reflect and prepare for the coming of Immanuel – the arrival of the eternal God in our own human frailty. He sent His son so that one day He would grow up and become the most crucial part of history. It is the beginning of the end of everything that is wrong with this world. It is the culmination of God’s pursuit of a sinful, broken people. (I talk about how God pursues the broken, here.)
This Christmas story, the one that gives me all the feels, is one of love, truth, joy, healing, restoration, and hope.
The Plan Of God
As we reflect on God’s faithfulness in keeping his promises in the past, we can have confidence in the promises that await. God fulfilled His ultimate promise by sending His One and Only Son into the world. Christ the Messiah, the fulfiller of all the promises of God. In God’s mercy, He has saved us from ourselves.
The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother, Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. Matthew 1:18-19.
Think about it, Jesus born of the Virgin Mary. Can you imagine the flood of thoughts going through her mind? Then hearing that her relative Elizabeth, 70 or 80 years old, was pregnant after not being able to conceive for her whole life. And she is not the only one that God has turned from barren to giving birth…remember Abraham and Sara from the Old Testament. Through these unique stories, God was demonstrating his plan, making the impossible possible so that no one could claim credit but Him.
But after he considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21.
When Mary returned to her home, there were definitely whispers behind her back (and to her face) because she was pregnant out of wedlock. Joseph didn’t know what to do since they were engaged and had never been together. He was going to do the honorable thing and divorce Mary quietly so she wouldn’t be further shamed, but an Angel of the Lord was sent to Joseph to assure him of God’s plan. A child born into his house, but not his child. A child that is at the center of God’s great redemption plan for the world.
This time of year is an opportunity to refresh our perspective that God has a grander plan that is already at work. It is a celebration of the historical event where God entered into our world to display His righteousness so that all might be reconciled to Him. The best part is that we are included in His redemption plan. The days leading up to Christmas remind us to fix our eyes on a far greater story rather than our own cultural holiday traditions.
God Will Restore All Things
God finds us in the most unlikely places sometimes. Immanuel does not mean God is near us or close by. It means God is with us. Jesus was born into this world in a manger, the lowliest of places. He was tempted like us, experienced the same human limitations as us, yet he is simultaneously the desire of all nations. By God’s amazing grace, He saved a wretch like you and me. We were once lost but in Jesus, we are found.
Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: See, the virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will name Him Immanuel, which is translated “God is with us.” Matthew 1:22-23.
And just as Jesus came humbly in a manger behind an inn, one day he would be unceremoniously hung on a cross alongside criminals and buried in a tomb. There is no redemption without the birth and resurrection of Jesus. He is for us and came into the world to pay the price of our sin and restore all things. He took our burdens upon himself so that we might have an intimate relationship with the Father.
Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul
Often during the Christmas season, we are looking for ways to truly satisfy ourselves. As children, we thought it was the bike or puppy that we just had to have for Christmas because it would make us happy. But the amusement and joy didn’t last long. We are always left wanting more.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11.
Without Christ, we will endlessly strive but never find satisfaction. God offers us himself in the person of Christ. Jesus exceeds our expectations, provides for our needs, and satisfies our desires. Jesus is the joy of every longing heart and the fulfillment of our hope. He is our Savior and our Deliverer. Because God sent Jesus for us, He has opened up our eyes to see our new identity in Him.
Jesus is the point of Christmas. He is the greatest Christmas gift of all. This isn’t something that should be overlooked. He was born so that we would reap the benefits of knowing Him, delighting in Him and displaying his love for all the world to see. So come let us rejoice and adore him. This kind of joy and peace that will last all year long.