Christmas is a wonderful time of year, celebrating a wonderful story, wise men following a star, gifts from afar, and a virgin giving birth in a cattle stall. A Holy child conceived by the Holy Ghost. His name was “God with us”. God became a man! ….But it was not enough!
If the story had ended there, or even if it had ended with the child growing up to be a great teacher and doing mighty works for God on behalf of the less fortunate, it would just be another story of a great and good man. But it did not end there.
This man came not only to live a perfect life but to die as a perfect sacrifice, a substitute for every man, fully satisfying
God the Father’s just demands. Tens of thousands of volumes have been written about his death on the cross. ……But it was not enough.
If the story had ended there, it would have been a great story, unique among all the stories of men ever told. God had come in flesh and paid for the transgressions of men every where and now God the Father could freely forgive men their sins and not compromise his holiness and justice. ……But it was not enough.
This innocent God-man had committed no crime but was executed on a Roman cross. He was buried in a borrowed tomb. And on the third day, just as he had predicted, He arose from the dead. He was alive! He had been glorified! His body was now fit not only for planet earth but heaven as well. Sin had been defeated. The devil and hell had been openly laid bare and also defeated. And, even death, the greatest enemy of mankind had itself died. Death, hell, and the grave would no longer be victors over those who know the Life.
Solely because of Christ’s life and work, both in living and dying and rising again, God could now forgive the sins of anyone who would trust the Christ of God and walk with Him. …But it was not enough!
Not enough you ask? Yes, to forgive sins was not enough. Because God cold wipe the slate clean, forgiving all your past sins, but there is a problem. You will sin again. Yes, just as every man since Adam, all of us sin. Even the best, most sincere Christian, still lives in a sin tainted body
a body that desires what God does not approve. And each of us has an ego that wants to be polished and protected every day. So if forgiveness is not enough what could God possibly do more?
God, the righteous judge of the universe, would declare wicked sinners “righteous” based on Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. ….That is quite enough!
The great Apostle Paul gave some reasons why he was not ashamed of the good news about Jesus. He said it is the dynamite of God unto salvation for everyone and that in that powerful story “the righteousness of God is revealed”. What is this “righteousness of God”? It is the person, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because of the babe of Bethlehem, God takes away sin from wicked sinners and puts it to the credit of Jesus. But He doesn’t stop there. He also takes the righteousness of Jesus and credits it to the account of the sinner. So every man, woman, and boy and girl who puts their trust in the claims of the good news about Jesus and obeys it’s demands is made righteous.
Only perfect people are fit for living in the very presence of God in heaven or in the new earth. Only the completely pure can abide in His holy presence. God seeks after wicked sinners and based solely upon Christ he chooses them to be His own, He draws them to Himself by the work of the Holy Spirit. He convinces, convicts, and converts them by making them righteous as He is righteous, holy as he is holy, and finally, immortal as He is immortal.
This is what Christmas is all about. The beauty of that night long ago is only understood by the beatings Jesus took for you and me. The expensive gifts given to the holy child are only appreciated when we understand what the greatest gift is, the blood of Christ.
The babe, the body, the blood, the bounty, the beauty of holiness, freely given to all, and for all, who will turn from their own way and follow Jesus in simple child like trust.
Religion…is not enough. Acts of kindness…is not enough. Being a committed member of a church…is not enough. Only Jesus Christ himself is enough. He is the only hope, He is righteousness, He is life, is He yours?
See what God has given! Merry Christmas!