It would be rather irresponsible of me if I did not mention the true reason for Christmas, so allow me to start with that before we get into anything else.
The true reason for Christmas is us. This is a statement I first heard a few days ago and was, at first, taken quite aback by it. What do you mean “we are the reason for Christmas?” It seemed like a very selfish statement. But let’s unravel the beautiful truth behind this very uncommon statement. Without humans, without the human ability to sin, Christmas would have never become a holiday because Christ never would have needed to come. What reason would there be to celebrate a savior if we didn’t need one? This, of course, isn’t the case. We so desperately need a savior to redeem us from our sin. He has, whether you choose to believe it or not, saved us from ourselves, yet it is with that same gift of choice, that God so lovingly blessed us with, that we also caused Him, Christ, to come.
The easiest place to start with this is Adam and Eve. If you don’t already know, in Genesis, Adam and Eve were the first humans created by God who lived in peace and harmony with Him in the garden of Eden here on Earth. One day, Satan, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and when she chose to do so, Adam followed suit and did the same as his wife. Now earlier, God had told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, yet when they disobeyed him the conception of sin came into the world. Sin is, by definition, disobeying God in some form or fashion. Due to our God’s justness and holiness, something we today do not emphasize nearly as much as we should, He could not have them be with Him in the garden. Not only in the garden, but Adam and Eve couldn’t be with Him at all! The separation that sin provides is devastating on all sides. God could not be with His most special creation, man, and man could not be with His creator, God. Yet, God had a masterful plan and had immediately put it into action.
After Adam and Eve sinned, many things happened in the world. To briefly sum up things, Israel became a nation of God’s chosen people, they too sinned and rebelled against God, God became angry and allowed them to do as they chose (this is why Israel split first into two nations, Israel and Judea, and then both were conquered), after 70 years, the first Jews came back to their land and began rebuilding, when Herod came into power the Jewish Holy temple was being rebuilt and Jesus was born. All throughout the time after the exile and conquering of their land, the Jews were controlled by other people groups (The Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, and Romans, respectively). Their people group was looking for the savior promised to them by God while they were still a nation. They wanted a savior of military might and strength to save them from the nations that always seemed to overtake them. Little did they know that what they wanted was far from what they were getting.
“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
Jesus came into the world a wee little baby, not quite the military man the Jews were expecting. He was the son of a carpenter, born to a virgin woman. Humbly, he came into the world and humbly He died for it, for us. Yet, the Jews did not want this kind of savior! In fact, it was the Sanhedrin, the Jewish holy council, that influenced everyone to have him crucified! Where was their commander? Where was their general? Certainly, it was not this boy from Nazareth, this carpenter’s son. I’m sure these thoughts rang through their heads as they unknowingly crucified the son of the one they were supposed to be worshipping. Though man wanted one thing, God gave them something far better. After He had died, three days later Christ rose from the dead! You can imagine the shock of the Jews, ESPECIALLY the Sanhedrin! Christ is actually the son of God! And we killed Him and now He is back! What is He going to do to us?! I assume those were some thoughts they had as they heard the news of Christ coming back, but in the most loving irony in all of history, He had already accomplished what He was going to do to them. Through his humiliating death on the cross, Christ was slain as the perfect sacrifice for all of our sin, even taking upon the sin of those who killed Him. But, who killed Him?
Though physically He was slain by the Jews and Romans of His time, in God’s mind He was already slain when Eve took the first bite into sin. Ever since Adam and Eve, people have been sinning. People still sinned after Christ died. People are sinning today and people will sin until the day Christ returns and everything is created new by Him. My point is, there is nowhere to cast the blame, because the net covers everyone. You’re a sinner and I’m a sinner, yet with that same gift of choice to commit sin, we can also choose to acknowledge the gift of Christ. He died for you and He died for me.
So maybe you got what you wanted for Christmas this year. Maybe everything went according to plan. Maybe you were a little disappointed or maybe it’s been one of the worst Christmas’ you’ve experienced. Just know that the Jews didn’t get what they wanted, yet both them and us can be satisfied with a savior.