The point of Christmas is the Coming of God to earth in human form, the form of a baby. What was the point of His Coming?
23 A fool finds pleasure in wicked [his own] schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom.
Hallmark Movies hit all around the true message of Christmas–even portraying the manger scene with shepherds and wisemen–but leave out the real reason for gift-giving. The reason gifts are given at Christmas is to honor the Gift given to us that Christmas day, which was “a Savior who is Christ [Messiah] the Lord.” Jesus’ Mission–His subsequent life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension–is the point of His coming. The Gift He brings to us is the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For us non-Jews, it is difficult to understand the importance of the sacrifice made by Christ the WAY Christ made it. Suffice it to say that it was important for Christ to die a certain way, at a certain time, and in a certain sequence. Let’s get a general view from Peter in his first sermon:
22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Acts 2:22-24
What we see here is the PLAN of God for Christ to die for the sins of the world. What ELSE we see here is Jesus defeating death for us. That’s HUGE! What else did Peter say?
32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.
There were many witnesses to the resurrected Christ. They saw Him ascend to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of God, and He has sent the promised Holy Spirit (see Ezekiel 36:26-27, and Joel 2:28-29). What does this testimony mean to both Jews and non-Jews? Peter tells us:
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
Jesus fills the offices of both Priest and King. He is our Priest who presented Himself as the Sacrifice for us, and He is our King because we have received Him as such. We have the kingdom of God in our hearts through His Holy Spirit, of which Jesus is Supreme Ruler.
Let’s spread the Good News of His wonderful Gift this Christmas when we give gifts to others. Consider printing, reading, or saying,
“I present you with this gift to remind us of the amazing gift
that God gave us through Jesus Christ, the gift of eternal life in Him.”
Peter finishes his sermon with a call to repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38-39). May we have opportunities to give the same call to our loved ones and other people in our lives.
Abba, may we make Christmas about You and the Gift You gave us in Jesus. May Your Spirit convict of sin, which brings repentance, and inspire many to give their lives to You. Amen.