O Come, Let Us Adore Him – Advent Day 7 – The Need for His Coming
She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21, ESV)
I’m sure I’m not alone when I think that just two years ago Christmas looked a whole lot different. Public health officials were warning people, advising them to avoid getting together with their families for Christmas. New Hallmark Christmas movies looked weird, because the “gathered crowds” at certain points in those movies featured about 10 people. New Christmas music was often downbeat, referencing going through “the longest year in history” (Ben Rector’s “The Thanksgiving Song”). Maybe it sounded a bit callous, but I resolved to be with my family here in NC and to make it to Cleveland, OH, to celebrate the week after Christmas with the in-laws basically no matter what. For me and my family, I felt we needed Christmas. “Christmas Saves the Year’ by twenty one pilots hit the nail on the head for me that year with these lyrics: “Everybody wants to make it home this year/Even if the world is crumbling down/’Cause everybody’s got somebody who’s got their name on a shelf/With cheap décor and flavored cheer/You rest assured, Christmas saves the year.” I needed the joy, the togetherness, the love, the closeness, and the happiness of spending Christmas together to salvage a year of bitterness, anger, and loss.
For many reasons, this world needed (and needs) the Messiah—we need Jesus. He became an absolute necessity because of the moment in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against God. From that moment, Paul tells us, “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). For the next 4,000 years, the world would only prove how much it needed Him. Just a few pages from the Fall in Genesis 3 you have the devastation of the Flood in Genesis 6. You read stories throughout Exodus, including the freshly-delivered children of Israel bowing down and worshipping a golden calf. God provided good for the people for years, and they ended up hating it (and blaming God for what He gave them). You have the kings throughout the books of 1-2 Kings and 1-2 Chronicles, many of which worshipped idols. The kings often cast God aside, burned their children on altars as sacrifices to their new gods, and generally encouraged waves of sin and debauchery among their people. Even the best of men (like King David) fell victim to the horrific pull of sin. The Old Testament ends with a world continuing to spiral downward and Malachi passing on brutal warnings from the Lord. How would the world continue in the current state?
Turn the page to the New Testament, and Matthew immediately gives us the answer: it wouldn’t. A child was soon to be born, and His name would be Jesus. His name was the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua; it means “to deliver, or to rescue.” The angel that told Joseph the news of Matthew 1:21 said He would be called Jesus for (or because) He would save His people from their sins. The world needed Him primarily because we were absolutely without hope because of our sin. If we ever wanted to be with God forever, then the problem of our sin needed to be dealt with. I’m thankful the Messiah, Jesus, was sent here, because He was our only hope. We needed someone who was both able and willing to save us from our sin; He was the only One who could ever fulfill both those requirements. The One who was needed was the Christ who came.
When the Christ child was born, a new day dawned. A Savior came and paved the way for our sin to be forgiven. The world needed Him then, and the world needs Him now. I need Him. You need Him. Has He forgiven your sin? He forever forgave mine as an 11-year-old boy in 1987. I placed my faith and trust in what Jesus did at the cross of Calvary. He fulfilled His purpose in coming—saving His people from their sins by dying for sin. And He said, “It is finished.” I believed Him. Will you believe Him? This Christmas season could be the beginning of a new life—eternal life—if you’ll simply trust in Jesus, the One you need.