Christmas is here. Santa Claus, Christmas tree, carols, star, gifts, greetings, bells, etc…This is Christmas to most, maybe we don’t mean it but we emphasize on all these rather than what it actually depicts. So what does Christmas really signify?
For this we need to dig a bit deeper. The history is a pile of facts where we commence to discover what the story tries to convey. Therefore to know about Christmas, which we celebrate today, we will look back to the creation part.
When God created the world, He created man in His own image and He said it was “good”. People were free to choose to be with God or to turn away from him but we sinned by breaking God’s command. Bible records that Adam had a son in his own image (which had become sinful). Since then people continued sinning. We know that in the world sin exists. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”-Romans 3:23-24. As the verse says, we all are sinners, no one is sinless. So it is us who can be blamed for it. We do not need to teach a child how to lie or steal, he learns it by himself.
Hence, we can say that sin is the cause. This brings us to question that ‘why’ didn’t God create a world ‘without’ sin? Peter John Kreeft in Lee Strobel’s book-“Case for Faith” mentions: “Even an all-powerful God could not have created a world in which people had genuine freedom and yet there was no potentiality for sin because our freedom includes the possibility of sin within its own meaning. It’s a self-contradiction – a meaningless nothing – to have a world where there is real choice while at the same time no possibility of choosing evil. To ask why God didn’t create such a world is like asking why God didn’t create colourless colour and round squares.” We can also relate this with love as we all know or have read about God’s love. Maybe a world can be without struggles, pain, suffering, etc but it can’t be without love. And where love exists, free will does. So basically, we were free to do anything but we chose wrong.
Now we know that the sin exists but again it leads us to question that if God is love and He loves us, then why do we have to pay penalty for our wrongdoings i.e. sins? Can He not forgive the ones He loves? But God is also just and punishes people for their wrongdoing. So how can Love and justice go together when love says forgive and justice says punish. But God did something which would meet the demand for love and justice. So Jesus came to meet the demands. Consider this example, a police man catches me for breaking the traffic signal and hands me over a ticket, but I don’t have money. Suddenly one of my friends appears and pays the penalty instead of me and saves me from being punished and also follows the rules. In the same way the world needed someone because it was incapable of paying the penalty.
But still the question arises that why only Jesus could take away our sin? Let’s look at an example if there is a dark room and it needs to be lightened up, we cannot take something dark to take away the darkness but only light can do it. Same is with the world, and here is the answer to my question “Why only Jesus?” As I said that only light can take away darkness, the sinful world can only be saved by a sinless person. Now the question arises that who is sinless? Bible says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And as David says in Psalm 51:5, “Surely, I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Therefore, no human can help us with this. All we need is a sinless perfect being. And the answer to this is God. Only God can take away our sin and can remove the penalty of sin. And so as John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And therefore God sent his son because of our sin and expressed his love for the mankind, the creation of his own image. Jesus was the only person in history who was conceived by a virgin. However, denying physical connection between Mary and Jesus would imply that Jesus wasn’t truly human. Scripture teaches that Jesus was fully human, with a physical body like ours. This He received from Mary. At the same time, Jesus was fully God, with an external, sinless nature. [Lee Strobel, the Case for Christmas]
And so the birth of Jesus saved us. As Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” God saved us from the penalty death and offered us eternal life re-establishing the broken relation by becoming a mediator between us and God which is very nicely written in Ephesians 2:14, “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.”
Christ, love, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life, this is what Christmas means. As David Mathis says, “Christmas is not a beginning, but a becoming. Christ was not created: He came. God sent God to rescue us. So this Christmas let us learn about God’s love and become what God has made us for. Merry Christmas!