My memories as a small child of Christmas – I remember falling asleep waiting to hear the sleigh bells upon the roof as the reindeer landed. I remember the excitement that ran through my soul as my sister, 11 years my senior, told me she heard the bells. I was always the first one up, some years at 3 a.m. Most of the gifts from those excitable years of youth are long forgotten. A set of bowling pins, a Johnny Lightning race track, and a small plastic bank in the shape of a bowling pin complete with a smiling face are the first to come to memory.
As the years passed, memories shifted from a child excited about gifts to how I could please the love of my life. Julie and I had only two Christmases before children came along. We spent those two seasons of Christ’s birth as two young lovers seeking to please one another.
As children started to arrive, my thoughts of Christmas shifted to a desire to see the joy in the eyes and hearts of my children.
Decades have now passed since those days of lying in bed listening for the thumps of hooves on the roof. This year, my oldest grandchild will experience her first Christmas as an adult. My interest in gifts is non-existent now. My only desire is to see the family – those “kids” of mine, their spouses, and the dozen grandchildren.
As time past, I changed, my heart turned.
Have you ever wondered how the birthday boy – Jesus Christ – sees Christmas? After all, it is the celebration of His birth.
Jesus has a unique situation when it comes to His birthday – He was in on the planning of it and knew the reasoning for it since before the creation of the universe (Revelation 13:8).
In eternity past, before creation, God knew that humanity, the crowning glory of His creation, would not obey Him. All humans on earth would be sinners.
This situation gives God a problem. The law requires the penalty for sin to be spiritual death (Genesis 2:17; Romans 8:2; 1 Corinthians 15:56). God needed a way for humankind’s justification. A way to expunge man’s sin.
The law does provide a way for the erasing of sins – the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). This way out also had flaws – the animal sacrifices done throughout history could not take away sins – Hebrews 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
The sacrifice of human blood was also inefficient for the cleansing of sins because all of us receive our sin nature from our earthly fathers. Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
All this rolled into a solution, the only solution possible for the remission of humanity’s sin. God’s blood – the holy, sinless, pure blood of God is the only solution for sin’s death sentence for humanity.
The Sacrifice, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, had to be none other than God Himself – Jesus Christ – The Son of God.
Without a human biological father and with a virgin human mother, Jesus Christ was born into this world to save us from our sins. This exact purpose for His birth was told to Joseph by the angel. Matthew 1:19-23, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Our memories of Christmas include family, gifts, the smiles of the faces of others, and the anticipation of hooves on the roof, but let us remember the reasons for the season – our sins and God’s desire to lawfully remove them.