The Christmas story…the real one.
The TRUE Christmas story is much more powerful.
Most people love it.
Even those who don’t believe in Jesus understand that it’s a good story of love and the willingness of God to act on that love.
It’s a compelling story, and besides…there’s a birth of a baby involved (and everyone like babies).
However, in our desire to make the story of the events of that first Christmas more ‘magical’, we tend to make it more vague.
Our children add additional animals to the manger scene, we come up with 3 names of the ‘wise men’, etc.–in other words, we add our own ‘filler’ to the events, as if these miraculous events needed our help!
Maybe it would be helpful to clarify:
Who is the message of Christmas actually ‘for’?
More accurately, Who did Jesus come to earth for?
Why did He come?
According to the angels at the announcement to the shepherds, His coming was “Good News of Great Joy to ALL People” (Luke 2:10)
They would clarify just a few verses later ““Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14).
So, the question is, ‘What’ is the Good News, and Who does the favor of God “rest” on?
In it’s most simple form, the ‘Good News‘ is that God sent Jesus to pay for our sin, and the subsequent separation between ourselves and God which resulted from that sin.
Jesus himself said it this way: “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
As the Apostle Paul would later write, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
It’s something that we could not do on our own, but rather, a gift of God that we receive by faith: “It is by [God’s] grace that you are saved, through faith [in Jesus]; it is a gift of God, not a result of your good works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
So…the GREAT NEWS of Christmas is that Jesus came to save anyone who will call on Him in faith, and believe in Him as Savior and Lord! It is open to anyone! “he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9); “anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!” (Romans 10:13)
So, the great news for us is that the ‘Christmas story’ is available to ALL who believe and call on Jesus!
If there is any ‘bad news’ in this, it’s that some will refuse–through arrogance, unbelief, or spiritual blindness–to “call on” Him.
Those people will miss not only the true impact of those historical events, but even more importantly, they will miss the eternal implications of the eternal truth that Jesus is Lord and Savior!
So, as you’re enjoying the Christmas season, make sure you’re taking time to consider: Are YOU one of those “upon whom His favor rests”, by your faith in Jesus?
If not, you need to make that decision!
Then–and only then–will you really be able to ‘unwrap the gift’ of Jesus this Christmas.
YOU need to ‘Come and See what God has done’!