The Christmas Message: Jesus Came to Die

( [email protected] ) Dec 24, 2013 07:34 PM EST
Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem

We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas time, the fact that God incarnate humbled Himself to become a substitute for us on the cross, that we might have life in Him. We focus on His birth and on His life during this season - a life that was lived in total submission to the Father. Jesus is the exact imprint of God's nature, Who dwelt here on earth physically (see Hebrews 1:3). His life radiated God's glory - it was the perfect life that you and I were meant to live.

But the beauty of Jesus' life alone is not all that Christians are meant to celebrate this Christmas season. We rejoice over the birth of Jesus Christ because of His death and resurrection; the fact that the Savior of the World was born to gloriously satisfy God's justice through His death on our behalf, and that the Father accepted His sacrifice for our sake.

Jesus Carrying Cross

In the midst of this busy holiday season, many might miss the true meaning of Christmas. Putting our focus on Christ is sometimes easily lost when we cling to holiday traditions; these things are good, no doubt, but they pale in comparison to the significance of the incarnation of Christ. As we near Christmas day, I hope this will encourage you to reflect on why it is that Jesus chose to become a man and to give glory to the One Who came to seek and to save the lost (see Luke 19:10).

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it ... The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world" (John 1:1-5,9 English Standard Version).

Woven into the story of Christ's first coming is the glorious Gospel - John 1 continues:

"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:10-13).

Though He created each of us, we all at one point in our lives did not acknowledge Him as our Lord. Maybe we had somewhat of a belief in God - as many do - but we still did not know Him. Because Jesus Christ died on the cross, He has made the forgiveness of sins available to all who would receive Him. Christ was buried and rose from the dead on the third day in accordance with Scriptures, which prophesied of the Messiah (see Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:39-40). We celebrate His first coming over 2,000 years ago because of this; the Son of God took on human flesh to live the life that we should have lived and to bear the wrath of God, which we all deserve. "For the joy that was set before Him," Hebrews 12:2 says, Jesus endured the cross that we might be reconciled to God. He won us back to Himself.

If you have never rejoiced over this Gospel, you can do so now - "for the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

The following are a few verses of Scripture which outlines the Gospel - I also recommend "The Angst of Waiting," a Christmas sermon by Pastor Matt Chandler at The Village Church in Dallas, Texas:

None is righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10b)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:16-17)

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Romans 10:9-10)

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)

But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Shane & Shane - "Born to Die"

When the Babe was born
In a manger on the hay,
God saw a veil torn,
He saw Good Friday.
He was born to die.

Gold laid before the Christ
Incense, His presence is sweet,
Myrrh to signify victory over death's sting.
He was born to die.

It came in a dream
To Joseph late on night
That Herod sought the King,
But could not take His life.
He was born to die.

He said, "You won't take My life.
You won't take My life.
You won't take My life...
I lay it down."

We came here today
to celebrate His birth.
Let us not forget
why Jesus came to earth.
He was born to die.