When I think of Christmas, the most familiar story of the birth of Christ recorded in Luke 2: 4-7 comes to my mind. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
What a Saviour we have that would come down from the realms of Heaven to be born in a stable, with a manger for a cradle. There was no room for him in the inn that night and later no room for him in the society of that day. Have things changed very much since then? We don’t hear very much about the early life of Jesus until he begins his preaching ministry just a few years before going to the cross to pay for our sins. But I am thoroughly convinced that in those thirty plus years of his un-chronicled life, he made an impact on the people he came in contact with.
He didn’t need to be in the spotlight to do every day the things that needed to be done. He knew what He was here on earth for, and each moment of each day was spent moving toward that goal of paying for the sins of sinful humanity on the cross. Finally the day came when the heavy cross was placed upon His back as he walked toward Calvary. (Luke 24: 7 “The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”)
As He was crucified on that tree and lifted to the sky, then pronounced dead and placed in a grave, only to rise alive again three days later, He gave us the greatest present we could ever receive…..eternal life. The only condition is that we believe and accept what He did for us.
If we choose to accept God’s free gift of eternal life, then we will go to Heaven. (“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16) To make it to hell, we only have to not believe. (“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3: 18)
There’s nothing we can do to pay for this Gift Christ has offered to us, but we can commit to living a life pleasing to Him. He compares this life to “taking up a cross”. (“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9: 23)
My prayer is that each person who reads this will have a wonderful Christmas this year wherever you are by rejoicing in the Gift that Christ gave to us as we celebrate His journey from the Cradle to the Cross!