Christmas–the very mention triggers immediate mental reactions–food, gifts, family reunions, classical music, church services, games, caroling, snow activities, etc.
I submit to you, Christmas is about the cross.
The aforementioned activities are okay and good to do in moderation, however, in the midst of all the planning and carrying out of activities, let’s not forget Jesus, the One who came to redeem the world.
To redeem is to “buy back.” As humans, we all have sinned, transgressed God’s holy law (Romans 3:23). In doing so, we are separated from God as He cannot tolerate sin. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament temporarily covered sin. However, they could not remove sin. Christ came to personally offer Himself as the perfect and final sacrifice to remove the stain of sin in any who believe in Him (John 3:16,17). He didn’t come to personally condemn us but to purchase our sins on Himself – buy us back to God in exchange for eternal life!
For me, it’s hard to comprehend the ugliness of His crucifixion: maximum humiliation with maximum pain for the maximum amount of time. It may be a small picture of how ugly my personal sin is before a Holy God.
It’s easy to say that the Romans and Jewish leaders did this to him; however, it is our sin today that held him on the cross. Being fully God while fully man, He was able to view the corridors of time to us here today. Even while in unimaginable pain, both physically and emotionally, being God, He could “see the joy” of all who trust Him, being with Him in the Father’s presence (Heb. 12:2).
The Christmas story is wonderful; however, it’s the ending – the story of the cross and Christ’s subsequent victory over the grave which is able to completely pardon and correct our standing with a Holy God so that one day we can be with him – that is the grand crowning!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
-Keith Weaver, HOH Board Member