The meaning of Christmas …


What-Christmas-is-all-about-Charlie-Brown

What’s it all about – the majority of us know the nativity story don’t we? Gorgeous chubby baby born in a stable to a teenage-virgin mother and her fiance to be. The little baby is Jesus, son of God,  who arrives on earth in the most humble but incredible way.

But why? Why did the creator of the universe send his own son into the world to grow up and end up being crucified and after three days resurrected?

There’s two main stories we need to look at to understand it. Let’s begin with this – Jesus came to seek out and save the lost, to break down barriers, love the ‘unlovable’ and show us how to treat one another. He came to fulfill the law so we may be free to have a relationship with God…

Hold up … rewind… step back.. let’s unwrap that a bit.

Let’s travel back to just after creation, to another well-known story – the fall of Adam (and Eve) Genesis chapter 3. Following an incident with a fruit tree Adam and Eve commit the first sin – they disobey God. Now God can’t be around their sin so banishes them from the garden of Eden as a punishment. Not only had their disobedience affected their immediate lives it had affected the generations of creation to come – but God knew this and started out on His rescue mission.

Before we get all ‘If only Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed’ let’s remind ourselves that if we were in their situation we would have probably done the same – they were tempted by Satan himself, a pretty convincing guy when he wants to be.

You see an important point here is that when God created mankind he planted in us the ability to have free will, to make our own choices, including bad ones.

The rescue plan begins – the old testament is chock full of stories that are all about God’s chosen people and their journey back to God. But no-one born was perfect enough to truly bridge the gap between man and God.

For a time there were some that followed God, there were some that walked with him, were counselled by him and God loved them- despite their sin, they were still his children.

Then we asked for something from God – a set of rules to live by – enter the 10 commandments. A set of ten rules that no one has been able to live up to since they were chipped out on stone – well almost everyone.

Back in the days of Moses and before Jesus, because of these ten commandments and our disposition to sin – people made offerings of animals. The bible says ‘for the punishment of sin is death.’ so people used to confess their sin, bring a perfect animal to the temple and transfer their sin to them then slaughter the animal as an offering to God. In those times it was necessary as people lived under the law that they had asked for and the law that God had given to them.

Back to Jesus … Jesus was the only one who could come to earth and not break any one of these commandments – he fulfilled the law, he was the only one that could complete the commandment puzzle. But then he does something incredible.

Being Gods son, coming to earth and living a perfect life, Jesus was more than entitled to return to heaven unscathed. But he didn’t. Like father like son – Just as God the father loves each and everyone of us, Jesus does too – so much so that he prepared to die on the cross. He chose to take on the sins of the world around him and become the sacrifice for every sin, past, present and future. He chose to break down the barriers so that it wasn’t just the chosen Jewish race that had the right to get to heaven but everyone did.

In those three days after Jesus died, the Bible tells us that he went down into the depths of hell and broke every chain there, he offered eternal life to those who would accept it and to those who had died without knowing Him. Again, he gave this as a choice.

Christmas is so much more than the birth of that gorgeous chubby baby, Christmas was and is the continuation of a rescue plan that God has for me, for you.. for us!

John 3:16 says ‘For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life.’

No if’s, not buts, just the offer of a choice – whoever believes in Him, whoever accepts that Jesus came to the cross to die for their sin, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. A life that is not judged by 10 commandments that we could never live up to, a life of Grace. A life where whatever we do, whoever we are, wherever we are, we can live for and with Christ.

If you want to make that decision today all you need to do is pray the following prayer:

Dear God,
I’m praying this prayer because I know that I have done wrong. Please forgive me of all the things I have done wrong in the past.

Help me to put you as Lord of my life and keep me focused on the plans you have for me. I believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and now He is Lord over my life.

Thank you for saving me. Thank you that I am now a Christian.
Amen

 

What next? If you’ve read this and prayed the prayer above welcome home! Drop us a message and I’d love to pray for you! It’s important that you find some like minded people to be with so find yourself a church locally to you – anywhere that preaches about Jesus our Lord and saviour. If you need some help finding one don’t hesitate to drop me a comment and I’ll see if I can find somewhere local =) 

 

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