Christmas is Jesus
This weeks devotional is by Mark Hathaway.
Christmas is Jesus? Nate was the MC for our Christmas eve service. He said something very interesting, he said, “No one can ever take Christmas away from us, because Christmas is Jesus”? That is exactly right! But what did he mean by that? Is “Christmas Jesus” because we set up Nativity sets depicting Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in a manger. You know cattle lowing – whatever that means. I remember Nate referring to Jesus as our “Savior”. So what does all this mean to you and me?
I think we need to back up a little bit if we are going to make sense of what Nate told us. How far back do we need to go? All the way back to the beginning!
The Bible very clearly tells us that “in the beginning” God created the heavens and the earth and everything they contain. God created man. Most of us don’t struggle with the concept of creator/owner. We understand that If I build, let’s say a piece of furniture, a chair, out of materials I own, we would all agree that I am the creator/owner of that chair. I can do what I want with the chair. I decide how it will be used. As owner I can destroy it, re-fashion it, paint or stain it – whatever I want because I created it, and I own it. In the same sense, God is creator/owner of man and his family line. (Genesis 1 & 2)
God told man (Adam and Eve) you may eat of any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the day that you eat of it you will surely die. (Genesis 2:16)
You see death is an intrusion! Death of the body was not apart of the original design. Had Adam and Eve not disobeyed God, and eaten the forbidden fruit, they would still be alive!
God was offering man a gift! He was saying to Adam and Eve, “Trust in my word and you will live!”
The serpent challenged God’s word, caused man to doubt God. Man decided to place his trust in the serpent, not God, and ate the forbidden fruit. That very day man died! There was death to the perfect fellowship they enjoyed with God. They were cut off from the source of life. Physical death was introduced to their bodies. (Genesis 3)
Death is permanent. Dead things cease to live. Man’s perfect fellowship with God was eternally dead (Romans 3:23). And eventually Adam and Eve died physically as well. But why? Why is death so drastically permanent? I mean all they did was eat a piece of fruit that God said not to eat. Couldn’t he just overlook their mistake? Have you ever done anything as bad, or worse than eat a piece of forbidden fruit? Like me, you were born into sin. Additionally, you’ve committed your own sins.
Most of us understand the word Holy to mean pure, but it also means unique. God is unique in so many ways, one of which is His purity. Nothing, or no one, is as pure or perfect as God. God is perfect (flawless and complete). When man sinned death was introduced. He became polluted like a rotting maggot infested dead thing. God in His holiness cannot allow man in his sinful state into his presence, anymore than you could have relationship with a rotting maggot infested animal.
What would your reaction to a maggot infested carcass be? You would cast it from your presence! What was God’s reaction? Man was cast from His presence.
Do you see? Man needs a savior. What can a dead man do? Nothing! He has no way to become undead, to restore fellowship with God.
During the Christmas eve service Nate told us,
“…the Old Testament pinpointed numerous details (over 300 in fact) about the life of the Son of God and Savior of the world such as he would born a Jew of the line of King David, born to a virgin in the city of Bethlehem.
Did you know that scientifically, the probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight prophecies would be 1 in 10 to the 17th power? Friends, picture a number 1 with 17 zeros behind it and that’s if he just fulfilled 8 prophesies….. YET over 300 old testament prophecies alone were fulfilled in one man, Jesus the Christ!”
The prophecies about Jesus that Nate talked about are apart of God’s plan. You see man needs someone to take his punishment for sin, someone needs to die in his place so he can live. It can’t be another man. All of mankind is born under sin (sin passes through the man). We are born sinners and on top of that we’ve all committed our own sins.
The Bible tells us that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It tells us “for the wages of sin is death…(Romans 6:23)”. I can’t pay your sin debt, I’m doomed to pay my own. You and I need someone to pay for our sins. Someone that does not have any of his own sins to pay for, someone innocent. That man must be perfect. That man is the God man/Jesus. Jesus was not born into sin. Sin is passed to the next generation from the man, Jesus was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit of God (Luke 1:26 – 31). Jesus did not sin, not even once (Hebrews 4:14 & 15).
Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sins, but death could not hold him, because he was sinless and therefore not subject to the curse of death! He came out of the grave alive, victorious over death, hell and the grave! This is God’s gift to us! This is why Christmas is Jesus!
The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)”
You see Jesus has restored to man what Adam and Eve lost through sin. Now God is presenting the same gift to us that he presented to Adam and Eve. “Trust in my word and you will live!” What is God’s word to us? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the father except through me. (John 14:6)”
Remember, as someone dead to God, there is nothing you can do to save yourself. You have nothing to contribute to salvation. There are no prerequisites to salvation, there is nothing you can do to get yourself ready for salvation. Remember you are dead in your sins, and dead people can do nothing! Jesus was the total price paid for sin (1 John 2:2). The Bible tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Jesus has done it all for us. All you must do is put your trust in Jesus, and you will be saved. Eternally, gloriously saved!
As a 19 year old in the military, I was on a path of destruction. Alcohol was my God. But God orchestrated events in my life, and positioned me to be in the right place at the right time. Two men shared the good news with me – the very things I’ve been telling you about now, and I placed my trust in Jesus in September of 1981. My life was forever changed. I was saved from sin and death, and restored into fellowship with God through Jesus Christ His son. Have you place your trust in Jesus the Christ? If not, don’t delay. This could be the best Christmas of your life! Will you believe God and place your trust in Jesus?