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christmas-present-83119_1280

Christmas and the Coming of Christ – Part II

Last week we considered two reasons God sent His son Jesus into the world. The first reason is that Jesus was God’s special revelation. It enabled us to know that God is real and to know what He is like. The second reason was clearly revealed by the angel when he said to Joseph, “Mary will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Mathew 18:21). Jesus’s mission was clearly established before He was even born, He came to save His people from their sins. Without Him, the Bible says we will die in our sins (John 8:24). I might add that Jesus came also to save us from ourselves. Human beings have an incredible propensity to self-destruct. We like to go our own way and end up walking into the darkness. He came to teach us to walk in the light that we might live wisely.

A third reason Christ came into the world is revealed in Jesus’s exchange with Pilate. At first Pilate cannot get Christ to talk with him and gets very frustrated. Finally Jesus says “My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate jumps on this and exclaims, “So you are a king?” Jesus responds “You say correctly I am a king. For this I have been born and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 8:36, 37). The word “testify” means to give evidence to what is true.

This is another reason Jesus came into the world. Many people struggle in life because they live with false beliefs and false ideas. An example of this is modern man’s struggle with false ideas about masculinity. We are confused by the criteria used to measure our lives as men. Jesus not only tells us what true masculinity is, but He models it in the way He lived His life.

Most men would never desire to be Christlike because they really do not know what that looks like. If you study the life of Jesus you will recognize that He instructs us men:

  1. To be transformed in our character
  2. To grow in wisdom
  3. To love, have compassion, and to have quality relationships

This is the essence of what it means to be an authentic man. Therefore we need to know that Jesus came into the world to testify to the truth about life.

*****

Finally, Jesus came into the world to deliver us from life’s greatest fear, death. In Hebrews 2:14, the writer speaks of Jesus’s death and then, in the very next verse we are told that He “might free those who through the fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” We learn here that people naturally are slaves to the fear of death, though we do everything we can to hide that fear. Jesus came to deliver us from that fear.

People fear death because they do not know the final outcome when it comes their way. However, Jesus has told us the final outcome. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will live even if He dies” (John 11:25). He goes on to say, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Then in I John 2:25 we are told, “And this is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.”

This is the future He has for us. This is the final outcome. This is the anchor of our souls. It is our ultimate hope, and it is life-changing if we integrate this into our lives.

One of my favorite stories that illustrates this hope is shared by Philip Yancey. He tells the true story of Allied soldiers in a German prison camp in World War II. They lived in despair, wondering if they would survive, and if they would ever see their families again. However,

Unbeknownst to the guards, the Americans built a makeshift radio. One day news came that the German high command had surrendered, ending the war—a fact that, because of a communications breakdown, the German guards did not yet know. As word spread, a loud celebration broke out.

For three days, the prisoners were hardly recognizable. They sang, waved at guards, laughed at the German shepherd dogs, and shared jokes over meals. On the fourth day, they awoke to find that all the Germans had fled, leaving the gates unlocked. The time of waiting had come to an end.

This is how God intends for His people to live, with great joy as we anticipate the future, because He has told us what the final outcome is and what our ultimate destiny is going to be.

I closed last week’s blog with Paul’s words in II Corinthian 9:5, where he said, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” That is what Jesus is, God’s gift to the world. The choice is, do we receive the gift into our lives or cast it aside? This is a choice only we can make.


Richard E Simmons III is the founder and Executive Director of The Center for Executive Leadership and a best-selling author.

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