A Christmas Thought
Matthew 1:21 Ė 2:4
By Pastor Ray Pebble, First Baptist Church

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I pray that somehow in our society there would be nothing that would distract us from the awesomeness of Christmas.

But that is more like wishful thinking. Christmas has become so complex, so chaotic, so confusing with all the stuff, and the reality of the simplicity of the birth of Jesus Christ has been so blended into custom and tradition, that the significance has been lost.

Really, Christmas should be simple, not complicated, but very, very simple. Christmas should be stripped of all the trappings, and all that should be left is the simple truth of God becoming man. Actually this is the only part of the Christmas season that has any lasting power to change someoneís life. This is because there is no real strength, no peace, or hope, or love, or promise, or confidence for the future to be found in Santa Claus.

There is no lasting value in any earthly gift or any earthly sentiment. The real tree dies, unless it is fake to begin with. There is no package or party that can sustain life. No bright lights can lift the spirits of someone who is down, to a higher spiritual level. There is no power in Santa Claus. There is no power in a tree. There is no power in lights.

But when you are desperate, you need power, and in the hour of need, all Christmas has to offer is Jesus Christ. He is totally sufficient. Only He can fill the heart with hope in a time of doubt. Only He can fill the heart with lasting joy in times of sadness. Only He can fill the heart with peace in a time of fear. When life reaches its moment of desperation, the only hope is Christ.

What is the hope that Jesus Christ gives? How is it that Jesus Christ gives this joy in deep sadness? What is it about Jesus that gives comfort in loneliness? What is it about Him that gives peace in times of fear? A look at His birth gives the answer to all these questions. In what sense? To save us from the ultimate consequences of our sins, namely eternal damnation. To save us from even the present domination of our sins. But primarily, and ultimately, He came to save us in the sense that He delivers you and delivers me. He delivers all who believe in Him from the ultimate damnation that sin requires. And He has done that. He paid the price. He died the death that we would have had to die, and He carried our sins so far away that even God will never again consider their existence. What a blessed reality that Jesus Christ came into the world to forgive sin.

 

Jesus Christ came into the world to forgive sin. It doesnít mean that we donít commit sin. We do. It doesnít mean that sin wonít have harmful effects in this life. It does. What it does mean is we will never pay the ultimate penalty for sin. It has been paid. We will never die eternally. We will never spend a moment in hell. We will go from this life into heaven.
No matter what deprivation a person might experience, no matter how lonely your life might be, no matter how sad it might be, no matter how painful your situation, no matter how bleak the Christmas season, no matter what life prison you might find yourself in, no matter how strong your fears and how scary the prospects for the future might be, IF you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can see through to the one who has forgiven all your sins.

And in that, there is fullness of joy. There is no need to fear that your difficulty is Godís way of making you offer full atonement for your own iniquity. Not so. No matter what goes wrong in this life, no matter what is not the way you would like it, no matter how much unfulfillment you face, you know this. You have complete and perfect forgiveness for all your sins through Jesus Christ, if you place your faith in Him, and you will never pay for your sins, because Jesus has done that.

 

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