If you’re like my family, one of the best Christmas traditions is watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” We especially like the part where Charlie Brown screams out during play rehearsal, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus then asks for the lights to be dimmed and he quotes Luke 2:8-14. Most call this the Christmas story.
Some like to say remember the reason for the season and might even refer to the above passage in the Bible. Jesus is the reason for the season and the “good tidings of great joy” indeed put Christmas in the light which it belongs.
Yet still, the story is incomplete because knowing the reason for the season isn’t enough. We need to know the reason for the reason:
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:18-23)
Therein lies the reason for the reason. This was the reason for Jesus coming to earth. As the line from Steven Curtis Chapman’s song “Heaven in the Real World” proclaims, “God heard creation calling and He sent heaven to earth.”
God sent heaven to earth. We all like “a little slice of heaven.” We all try to make life on earth as close to heaven as we perceive it. The problem is, we don’t really know about and we can’t even get close to heaven without Jesus being the center of our universe.
As I grow older, I think I’m beginning to truly appreciate God’s fulfilled promises. Every promise God makes in His word has either been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, or will be fulfilled. Christmas is God’s promise to save the world from itself being fulfilled. He sent heaven to earth because He heard His creation crying.
We sign contracts to make sure each side keeps its word; our signature is our guarantee. It used to be, and still is in some parts of the world, that it only took a handshake. A contract is nothing more than a covenant. God’s covenants require no signature or even a handshake. They only need to be spoken:
“My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.” (Psalm 89:34)
Once God speaks, you can count on it. His word is sure because His honor is at stake. God has never broken His covenant with man, even though we have from the very beginning. Legally, God could have walked away from His creation and decided to start over. He could do so because He is God.
However, God decided to stick it out with us. He knew eventually that He would have to pay the ultimate price to redeem His fallen creation. Our Heavenly Father knew we would need a Savior. He knew we would need Jesus. Most of you no doubt know the verse John 3:16. How about the succeeding verse?
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
Christmas is about saving people. That salvation, the gift of grace through faith, is available to all. However, that availability does not mean you don’t have to do anything. Imagine you bringing Christmas gifts to all your loved ones, and no one opens them.
You tell everyone to open them, but they all reply that while the love the gifts and how beautiful they look, they prefer to leave them unopened and just admire them.
That would be foolish.
So it is when we do not open the greatest Christmas gift ever given to mankind: the gift of grace.
Have you opened yours? Have you trusted Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior? Can you imagine a more memorable Christmas than the one on which you got saved?
Please do so right now.
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject. You can purchase Dave’s nine devotional books by visiting his Amazon author page.
Copyright © 2015 David Jeffers