By Barbara Latta, Crosswalk.com
Who doesn’t love Christmas? Well, a few don’t like Ebenezer Scrooge, but Christmas is a wonderful time of year for most of us. We spread joy and love. We preach peace and giving. We decorate and celebrate with festive anticipation.
Music soars through the airwaves in malls and over the radio. We can sing along with our favorite carols, watch holiday movies, and curl up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate or a favorite latte.
Among all this festivity, we can get wrapped up in the commercial aspect of buying and selling. The pressure to keep up with gift-giving can cause stress if we put our focus in the wrong place. And then we may end up like ol’ Scrooge even without meaning to.
Those who aren’t believers do not recognize the real reason for Christmas. They may see manger scenes but not absorb the significance of a baby wrapped in strips of cloth. Even Christians can become weary of all the hoopla and wish the season would hurry on by (the Scrooge syndrome sneaks in again).
But when we stop to really contemplate the reason Jesus came, our traditions and celebrations can reflect the love that came down wrapped in a bundle of baby flesh. Jesus was the umbilical cord that connected heaven to earth and offered salvation for all who would believe in Him.
An angelic announcement proclaimed the news to shepherds that prophetic messages from the past were not dead. The Savior they had waited for so long finally appeared.
After so many centuries of waiting for their Messiah, the advent of Christ gave Israel a reason to look forward to their future.
But how does His birth over 2,000 years ago give us a reason to hope today?
These 12 Scriptures That Show Us Why God Sent His Son into the World
1. Because Jesus was born, when we accept Him, we have the promise of eternal life with God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
2. Jesus was born to be the mediator between God the Father and humanity.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. (1 Timothy 2:5)
3. Jesus was born to show us grace. Grace is a favor we don’t deserve. What greater joy can our lives have than to know we are given a precious gift we didn’t earn?
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
4. Jesus came to bring us the truth about God. He was born to bring revelation about Scripture and the reason for the commandments. He showed the world the true character of His Father.
You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me. (John 18:37)
5. Jesus was born to be rejected in our place so we could be enfolded into the family of God. Rejection can stir up feelings of worthlessness. The knowledge that Jesus accepts us with unconditional love can soothe a painful soul.
To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6 NKJV)
6. Jesus was born to be the Lamb of God and take away sin.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 NIV)
7. Jesus was born to bring spiritual peace. His first appearance wasn’t to bring political peace, but rather peace between God and man. Jesus Himself said He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34-36).
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men! (Luke 2:14 NKJV)
8. Jesus was born to give us abundant life (John 10:10) and defeat the works of the devil.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (1 John 3:8b NIV)
9. Jesus was born to bring us into the family of God.
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law that we might receive adoption to sonship. (Galatians 4:4-5)
10. Jesus was born to bring healing to hurting people.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
11. Jesus was born to give us everything we need for life and godliness. We can live with the sureness that when we rely on God’s promises, trust His Word, and obey His directions, we will receive the answer to our needs.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
12. Jesus was born to destroy the power of death. Because He was given to us, we can be free of the fear of death.
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)
We Are Not Without Hope
Hope is the foundation of our faith (Hebrews 12:1). Hope is not a myth or a wrapped present we will find under a Christmas tree.
This holy certainty helps us grab onto the things we can’t see with our physical eyes. This belief shows us an eternal future, the assurance of an inheritance, and the expectation that our Savior will return for us.
God’s promises are true and everlasting. No matter what we go through now on this earth, belief in the Lord provides the knowledge that we are never alone, and we don’t have to live in the power of our own strength.
Israel waited thousands of years for Christ’s first appearance. Many had given up and lost their faith in God because the Savior didn’t come when they wanted Him to.
We wait today for his second coming, and the Bible tells us people will say the same thing (2 Peter 3:3-4). Because over 2,000 years have passed since Jesus came, unbelievers scoff at any mention of the return of Christ. And some who claim to be Christians lose faith in the promises.
The birth of Christ gives us hope now because with Him, we have a secure future. As we celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, we can meditate on these Scriptures that we don’t usually associate with Christmas. But from the Garden of Eden until Jesus’ resurrection the promises about the Messiah show us why He came. We rejoice for the Savior has been born for without His birth, He couldn’t fulfill any of the prophecies.
He left heaven to become a man for our benefit. His arrival is relevant for our lives today because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He came to give us the same thing He gave to Israel—life everlasting, which includes anything we may need. Jesus’ birth gives us hope now, the same way His appearance did for Israel centuries ago.
Jesus Christ is the greatest gift we can receive, not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.
Father, thank you for sending Your Son to give me a heart full of hope so I can conquer difficulties through your power and have a future with you. Please help me remember the promises You provide that will sustain me when my confidence wanes, and my faith falters. Show me how to live in the reality of Christmas every day and reflect the reason Jesus was born to everyone I come in contact with so they can have a reason to hope, too. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/udra
Barbara Latta is a true southerner and is transplanted from Arkansas to Georgia. She writes a monthly column in her local newspaper and contributes to devotional websites, online magazines, and has stories in several anthologies. She is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration, and Direction for Motorcycle Riders. She enjoys traveling with her Harley-riding prince on his motorcycle taking in the creativity of nature. Drinking coffee on the patio while the sun comes up is her favorite time of day. Barbara shares about walking in grace and thriving in hope on her blog, Navigating Life’s Curves, at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com. She cherishes her role in life as a wife, a mom to two grown sons, and Mimi to one granddaughter.