The reason for the season
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV).
It is that time of the year again when we begin frantic preparations for Christmas. These days, the season is one big commercial venture and most supermarkets have already decorated for the season. I would, however, like us to spend time pondering on the real reason for the season. His Name is JESUS. He entered our world for a reason and so let us look at what He has done for us as we read in scripture and see how we can turn this Christmas into a time of worship, praise, thanksgiving, generosity and great joy.
1. HE CAME TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM SIN – “She will give birth to a Son, and you are to give Him the name JESUS, because He will save His people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21
2. HE CAME TO RECONCILE US TO GOD – “That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:19
3. HE CAME TO GIVE US:
(a) ABUNDANT LIFE – “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
“And are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – Romans 3:24
“For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace….” – Romans 5:17a
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the many” – Romans 5:15
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – John 14:27
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His fl esh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” – Ephesians 2:14-17
(e) A NEW LIFE –
“We are therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” – Romans 6:4
4. HE CAME THAT THROUGH HIS SACRIFICE WE WILL BE CHILDREN OF GOD –
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12
• HE CAME TO MAKE US HOLY
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” – 1 Peter 2:9
• HE CAME TO MAKE US RIGHTEOUS
“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” – 2 Corinthians 5:21
“… the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” – Rom. 5:17b
“However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” – Romans 4:5
• HE CAME THAT WE MIGHT BE AT PEACE WITH GOD –
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1
• HE CAME THAT WE MIGHT BE FILLED WITH JOY –
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be Complete” – John 15:11
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit – Romans 14:17
• HE CAME THAT WE MIGHT BE ENCAPSULATED WITH HIS LOVE –
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him” – 1 John 3:1
We need to respond to God’s love and grace by accepting the gift God has given us through His Son Jesus Christ. In Christ, we find all the full ness of God. Let us meditate on John 1:12-13 and Revelation 3:20 and if we have not accepted God’s indescribable Gift, this is the time to do so.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE REAL CHRISTMAS?
As we celebrate another Christmas, let’s think about the spirit of the event, rather than allow ourselves to get trapped in just the celebrations. Some of those who saw Him walk on water still rejected Him. Some who witnessed His divine introduction as God’s beloved Son in whom He is well pleased – Matthew 3:17 – still despised Him. In the same way, many of us who have read about Him and witnessed His modern-day miracles still struggle to fully accept Him.
Angels heralded the birth of Jesus, because they knew the priceless sacrifice He had come to earth to perform. Humanity, the recipient of Jesus’ sacrifice was largely oblivious to His birth and uninterested in His mission. Even His death, the culmination of the reason for His birth, was the climax of humanity’s consternation with One they despised enough to get rid of. Yet, God the All-knowing, Alpha and Omega, who saw the full picture of how His Son would be treated, still chose to send Him to dwell among us.
If Jesus had not come, our situation would have been miserable, indeed. Glory filled the earth when He was born and angels adored Him. Wise men bowed before Him, with gifts of gratitude – gold, incense and myrrh. Throughout His life on earth, God the Father attended His prayers as dew moistened His brows during many early morning supplications for the redemption of man. At His death, all heaven stood still and darkness covered the face of the earth.
Jesus came and died and He is back in heaven at the right hand of God. Beyond the food, and drinks, and new clothes and gifts of this Christmas season, remember why He came. It was to die for our sins. Hence, the only reason that can recapture the essence of Christmas is to yearn for Christ Jesus to be born anew in the heart of men and women so that humanity will be born again in the image of Christ. Then heaven will blaze with glory and its hosts will rejoice over one more sinner, reconciled to God, the Father. It is the only reason for the season. Nothing else counts. Are we ready for the real Christmas?
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By Dr Joyce Aryee, the author