All week we’ve been reading Christmas in reverse. We started with the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb and worked our way backward to His birth.
Honestly, the waiting felt a little tedious at times, didn’t it?
Our hearts long to see King Jesus lying in a manger. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas when we are looking at the scenery outside the stable. But waiting is as much a part of the Christmas season as peppermint lattes. We wait with eager expectation for Christmas morning and all it holds in store.
It is fitting that Christmas requires a tension of waiting. The world waited a very long time for the Rescuer to be born. We are eagerly waiting again for Him to return for us once more. But if our hope is in the perfect gift or the most Insta-worthy Christmas morning, we will find ourselves still waiting. Our hope is in the gospel. Let’s look for the gospel in the familiar tenets of the Christmas story.
The Rescue Begins
Hit pause on this blog post and read Luke 2:1–20. I’ll wait right here and sip something yummy.
A long trip. A manger. A crowded city. Visitors from fields filled with sheep. These are the familiar images of Christmas. But this is not just a cute script written for children’s choirs. This is the way that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16) chose to begin His rescue mission for us.
In Luke 2:10–11, the angel put it this way:
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
What is the good news? That Jesus was willing to do whatever it took to become our Savior.
Our King didn’t just come to rescue a few. News of His arrival didn’t stop with the shepherds. Jesus came to bring good news to all people. That includes you and me!
What is the good news? That Jesus was willing to do whatever it took to become our Savior. What did He save us from? That is the question you should be asking this Christmas season.
Matthew 1:21 says, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Second Timothy 1:9–10 says, “[Jesus] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Weave these passages into the story of Christ’s birth and be reminded of the state of the kingdom before Jesus came. Everyone needed a permanent remedy for their sin problem. And we needed to be saved from the spiritual death that sin inevitably leads to. When things were getting bad in the kingdom, God didn’t just sent a message. He didn’t use couriers to announce a royal edict. He came Himself with a message of hope. He was the rescue we needed.
This doesn’t make for a cute Christmas card, but you are a sinner. (So am I!) Because of our sin we deserve death, but Jesus chose to wrap Himself in humility, weakness, and humanity to save us. That’s what Christmas is really about.
Because of our sin we deserve death, but Jesus chose to wrap Himself in humility, weakness, and humanity to save us.
I’d like to encourage you to start a new Christmas tradition. Take some time to write Jesus a letter thanking Him for saving you from your sin. Confess current sin to Him, and ask Him to give you victory over it in the coming year. Reflect on what your life was like before you acknowledged Him as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Bible teaches that God wants to forgive you, even at the cost of His only Son. Now that’s good news indeed!