Christmas is many things to many people.
But for Christians all over the world the most important thing is that in Jesus we celebrate God breaking into humanity to come to do what no other person could do: reconcile you and I with God — giving us lasting peace with him.
In other words, in Jesus, God saves us.
Joseph was told that Mary ‘‘will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’’ (Matt 1:21). The name Jesus means ‘‘God saves’’.
But what does being ‘‘saved’’ from our sin even mean?
The Bible says that everyone will face God’s judgment. Everyone is answerable to God for how they have lived their life on earth. And, despite our best attempts, none of us live up to God’s perfect expectation.
Thus, none of us deserve to be with God in heaven, and instead deserve to be punished for our wrong-doing — what the Bible calls sin.
But the good news is, Jesus was sent by God to take that punishment for us (through his death on a cross).
That’s how he ‘‘saves’’ us from our sin. And in doing so, gives us an opportunity to be with God.
But what made God send Jesus into the world?
The answer is found John 3:16: ‘‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that who believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life’’.
Precisely because God loved us, he sent his son, Jesus, into the world as our saviour. And when we believe in him, when we put our faith in him, we can have everlasting life — in heaven, with God.
That’s worth celebrating this Christmas.
~ Contributed by Pastor Chris Taylor of Deniliquin Baptist Church, on behalf of the Combined Churches of Deniliquin.