What’s so good about Christmas anyway?
When the man Jesus of Nazareth stood before the Roman governor Pilate, Pilate asked him, “So are you a king?” Jesus answered:
You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. John 18:37 ESV
More than seven hundred years earlier the prophet Micah told about this king, that he would be born in Bethlehem:
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Micah 5:2 ESV
And when this King of God’s people entered Jerusalem, facing down the hour of his death on a cross, what did he say?
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. John 12:27 ESV
We can learn this about this King of God’s people:
- He was born in a stable in Bethlehem to be King.
- He was born to bear witness to the truth.
- He was born to die on a cross.
But there is much more to this story. In Acts 10 it says:
but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear,…And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:40-43 ESV
Isaiah, about the same time as Micah, prophesied these words:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV
And from this we can learn:
- He was born to rule an eternal kingdom.
- He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
- He will forgive the sins of everyone who believes in him.
Now, what is so good about Christmas? This is:
Jesus came into this world to show the truth, to die on the cross, and to be King over his people forever. We receive eternal life through faith in him: forgiveness of sins, new hearts, and a place in his kingdom. He will return again to judge all who ever lived, and from then until forever he will rule his people in a kingdom of peace and righteousness and justice. What an amazing God!!