Day 7 of The Characters of Christmas
“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11, ESV).
Christmas is easily my favorite season of the year—I know Christmas isn’t technically a “season,” but we certainly treat it like one where I’m from! It’s such a joyful time, especially when it’s filled with traditions that make it even more special and memorable. Decorating the tree, making Christmas cookies, singing carols, and watching the Christmas classics make me smile. All these traditions would be meaningless without one thing: the birth of our Savior. There would be no celebration if He had never come to this earth.
His coming wasn’t sudden; it had been prophesied for years before His arrival. God had this plan of redemption all along; we even read of the promise of a Savior in the very first book of the Bible (Genesis 3:15). Satan would seek for years to try and stop His coming, but as we know, God’s plan would prevail, and He would be born.
His coming was planned by God, but the conditions probably wouldn’t have been our desired plan. He was declared the King of kings, yet there was no royal entry. We read that Mary and Joseph had no place to stay after traveling, even as Mary was ready to give birth. I envision Joseph, trying to keep Mary comfortable while scrambling to look for a place for them to stay, but there was “no place for them in the inn” (v.7). No one had the decency to even give them shelter so Mary could have some privacy to deliver her baby. The best company they could find was among animals, as He was laid in a manger.
Having no room in the inn was only the first of many rejections that Jesus would experience. Many times He would be turned away or treated as an outcast; even today, many in our world want nothing to do with Him. But that didn’t stop Him from coming. Not only did He still come, but He loved the world (John 3:16), not just those that would love Him in return—He loved and still loves every single person. He loved us enough to come down from heaven, to be rejected and then die on a lonely cross. He experienced the pain, humiliation, and the wrath of His own Father when He hung on that cross.
The scene where He was born wouldn’t have looked special to anyone, but we know that His birth changed the course of our world. His birth meant hope and peace for us. We couldn’t pay the price for our own sins because we are imperfect. No matter how hard we try to live a good life or do the right thing, we will always fall short because of sin. Jesus also couldn’t pay the price for our sins while in heaven; He had to become a man in order to give His body and shed His blood.
Jesus not only gave us hope and peace for all eternity, but He completely fulfilled Scripture and took away the need to offer sacrifices. When I read of those in the Old Testament and the different stipulations regarding offerings, I am so thankful there is no longer any need for sacrifices. No bull or goat could ever compare to the holy Son of God who had no stain or spot (Hebrews 9:13-14). The sacrifices in the Old Testament had to be done over and over again, but Jesus had to die only once. There is no need for sacrifices because He bore the weight of sins forever. He was victorious over sin and death when He rose on the third day.
Not everyone would treat Jesus with the same excitement as the angels did when they sang “Glory to God in the highest” (v.14), but we most certainly can. Celebrating His birth isn’t something we can only do at Christmastime. The Christmas season comes and goes, and I always feel sad when I have to take down the tree, lights, and all the decorations. Thankfully, the celebration of our Savior isn’t limited to a season; we can, and should, celebrate Him every day. Seasons may change and even we might change, but we know that He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
Whenever we need hope to hold onto, let’s look no further than our Savior. He has come and made a way for us to be with Him in heaven forever. Nothing and no one on this earth could ever change that or take that inheritance away from us. May we hold these truths near to our hearts and remember that He is our joy.