So what’s the big deal about Christmas? Who cares if a baby was supposedly born some 2,000 years ago?
The big deal about Jesus is who he is and what he did. Consider this:
In Israel’s darkest hour, hope was extended. Joy would come, though not as they expected. God was preparing to judge His people through the tyranny of the Assyrians and later the Babylonians. Yet as Isaiah foretold the waves of destruction, he held out HOPE. Hope that transcended distress of every kind.
The theme of hope was realized in a baby. As darkness descended, look for a helpless little baby.
Regarding this baby, a sign would be given so no one would miss his arrival. He’d be born of a virgin. That hasn’t happened in all of history, nor will it be repeated. But what hope lies in a BABY?
The mystery of “God with us” would be revealed in his name, one of which was Mighty God. Now, I’ve greeted plenty of babies and not one was been named God. Imagine a Jewish family having the audacity to call their son GOD.
Ah, but this special one would fulfill so many previously given prophecies of the Messiah, or anointed one. The Jews looked for their deliverer from the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and later, David. Genealogy mattered, and God’s execution would be meticulous.
So, when the forest of the Israelite’s pride was mowed down with only stumps remaining in the landscape of their cultural identity, look for a baby, one from David’s line. He would be the “ROOT and the STEM” of Jesse (David’s dad). He would be both the predecessor (from eternity) and the descendant of David. Riddle me that.
So you have a virgin born son, God engaging His own creation. He would take on the limitations and sorrows of a regular Joe. His mission was announced in advance and the eternal Son would enter the very time and space He created.
What would he do? But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. He was born to die, to set us free from more than temporal aggressors. And though he’d be born to the Jews, he was for everyone.
The apostle John later put it this way:
The Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil. “Appeared” means he showed up in Bethlehem but that was not his origin. And “destroyed” is a violent term.
As well, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
The big deal about Christmas is that God entered our world of sorrows, tasted death, and suffered in our stead. Forgiveness and eternal life are gained through simple faith in who he is and what he has done for us.
Merry Christmas. May the love and light of Jesus Christ be yours in full this Holiday Season.
- Pastor Colin
P.S. Verses I referenced, in order, are Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 11:1, 53:5, I John 3:8 and John 3:16.