The Greatest Christmas Gift
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."1
"Suppose you are in a hospital dying of cancer. I come to you and say, 'Let's take the cancer cells from your body and put them into my body.' If that were possible, what would happen to me? And what would happen to you? I would die in your place. I would die instead of you."2
That's exactly what Jesus Christ did for you and me when he came to earth at Christmas 2000 years ago. He took our "cancer/disease" of sin upon himself and died in our place.
Admittedly, from a strictly human standpoint, the story of Christmas can be difficult to fully grasp and understand. Why would God in the form of his Son, Jesus, come to earth as a babe to take on himself the disease of mankind's sin?
What we need to understand is that God is a God of absolute holiness, which means that no sin or sinner could ever survive in his presence anymore than a moth could survive in a flame. Because we are all sinners, God's holiness would devour us before we could ever stand in his presence.
Furthermore, God is also a God of perfect justice and his judgment against all sin is death; that is, spiritual death which results in eternal separation from God in the place God calls "hell." Consequently, because we are all sinners, God's judgment of eternal death is upon the head of every single one of us.
The good news is, however, that God is also a God of infinite love and, because of his infinite love for you and me, he gave his only Son, Jesus, on that first Christmas to come to earth as a babe to take on himself the disease of mankind's sin and to die in our place on the cruel Roman cross to pay for us the penalty that God's justice demanded. In other words, he took the penalty of your sins and mine and bore that judgment in his own body on the cross of Calvary so long ago. In other words, he took your sins and mine on himself and died in our place.
That's what the Christmas story is all about. It is the greatest Christmas gift of all time. It is God's Christmas gift to you and to me. The important question is: have you accepted God's gift of forgiveness and eternal life? If not, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, how can I ever thank you enough for your great Christmas gift of love to me in the giving of your Son, Jesus, to take my sin upon himself and die in my place. Because you gave your life and died for me, please help me to give my life to live for you for all time and eternity. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Romans 5:8 (NIV).
2. From a tract published by Evantell.