The largest source of doctrine and theology during this season comes from the media. Movie after movie and song after song lay claim to the “true” meaning of Christmas. Usually it has something to do with love, hope, family, discovering the real you, or finding joy in simple things.
While all of these things are important, they are NOT what Christmas is all about. Being that it is named, CHRISTmas, it only makes since that it has something to do with Jesus the Christ. It is also obvious that as much as we celebrate the births of babies around the world, it is what people do with their life that causes people to remember and celebrate them long after they are gone. Christmas is no different.
An honest evaluation of Christmas then, begins not with the birth of Jesus, but with His life mission and purpose. While the debates rage on the reasons Christ came, the easiest solution is to see what the Bible says and listen to Jesus Himself. So here are some of the real reasons Jesus came:
“… the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” – Mark 10:45
Jesus’ willingness to serve reminds us all that Christmas is more about giving ourselves than it is getting from others.
To Fulfill God’s Promises
Romans 15:8-13 tells us that Jesus’ coming proved God’s promises true to the Jews who were waiting, and also proved God merciful to the Gentiles who previously had no easy path to salvation.
A pastor in a Christmas movie I was watching a few days ago said, “the baby didn’t come to judge the world.” At first listen, that sounds right, but it is not what Jesus said. In John 9:39, Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world.”
Many confuse judgment with condemnation. Although there will come a day when Jesus condemns those who rejected the gift of salvation, He came the first time to help us see our need. According to the same verse, He came so the blind would see, and the people who thought they could see would be made blind. Salvation first requires we understand that we need saving.
To Save Sinners
In John 3:17, Jesus said that He did not come to condemn the world but to save it. 1 Timothy 1:15 tells us that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
It seems the world doesn’t even want to acknowledge that sin exists anymore. It’s interesting that we all love a good redemption story, but we don’t like to talk about the sin that precipitates the need for redemption in the first place. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We are made for the glory of God, but before we can be saved, we must realize our need for salvation. Why? Because we are all sinners.
To Be the Sacrifice
Under the Jewish law, animals were sacrificed for the sins of the people. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice – the perfect lamb – who takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” – 1 Peter 2:24
“Christ… having been offered once to bear the sins of many” – Hebrews 9:28
By the way, the reason animal sacrifice is no longer necessary, is because it was always just a symbolic act of the real sacrifice that Jesus would eventually make. The Bible tells us that the effects of Calvary rippled through time and space providing salvation to those who believed God before and after the cross. (Romans 3:25)
To Destroy the Works of the Devil
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil – 1 John 3:8
Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying… – Hebrews 2:14-15
The devil is a sinner and he entices us to sin. Jesus came to provide us a way out of sin, not simply forgiveness for sins of the past. God’s mercy works to forgives us, His grace gives us favor and power to overcome temptation.
To Bring Life
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly – John 10:10
Jesus didn’t come to just give us life after death – as great as that is – He came that we can enjoy abundant life in the here and now.
To Reign and Rule
According to John 18:37, Jesus responded to Pilate’s question, “So you are a king?” with “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born and for this I have come into the world.”
We need a pure, holy and righteous King who will bring the peace and justice that we desperately seek.
While there are many more reasons Jesus came, I hope this helps provide a more accurate and well-rounded understanding of why we celebrate Christmas. What a wonderful gift we have been given in Christ.
If you are interested in the audio for the entire message including many points not in this blog, let us know. We will be happy to share it with you.