Merry Christmas!

[Today’s post is by Tim Chaffey, pastor, founder of Midwest Apologetics and co-author of newly published Old-Earth Creationism on Trial by Master Books. He is currently working on another book project.]

Christmas is an enjoyable time of the year for most people. For many, this time of year includes family gatherings, time off from work, reminiscing about Christmases of the past, and an overall sense of joy.

In the past several decades, Christmas has become more and more secular in our society as a large faction of our society has forgotten or neglected the true meaning of Christmas in exchange for a commercialized version complete with Santa Claus, reindeer, elves, presents, programs, and trees. This article is not going to be a rant against these things, but instead will be a call to remember the real reason for the season.

Christmas was originally designed to be a time of celebration and reflection on the greatest gift ever given. A little over two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ (God, the Son) humbled Himself and became a man. He left His glorious estate in Heaven to be born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem.

Of course, many of us think about the beautiful images conjured up by the Nativity story, but do we think about the bigger picture? Think about this for a little while. Why did Jesus come to this Earth? Why did God become a man? Was it so we could have an extra holiday to celebrate? Was it so we could reflect on the wonderful Nativity story and sing Christmas carols to commemorate this amazing event?

The answer to these last two questions is “No.” The real reason that Jesus came to Earth is to rescue us from what we deserve – an eternity of suffering apart from Him because of our sinfulness. He came to take our punishment and die on the cross. The Child in the manger came to die the most brutal death wicked men could imagine. And He did it for us.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). If Jesus had not come, we would have to pay the infinite penalty for sins, but He did come, and He paid the price for our sins. He conquered death by rising from the dead three days later.  He offers freedom from that penalty and eternal life to all who would accept His free gift. This is the real reason for the season.

So, as you find yourself hustling from place to place and finishing up your last-minute Christmas shopping, please take time to remember and thank God for the greatest gift that ever could be given. He gave His life for you, would you be willing to show your gratitude by living for Him?

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