Dear readers – I wish to express my sincere best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful time spent with families and friends. We all tend to get so caught up with the pressures of life and with markets and such that oftentimes we lose sight of how important both family and friends are. What would life be without either or both?
The Christmas season is special because it is that time of the year when we especially treasure both.
It is also the time of the year when those of us who are Christians celebrate what we call the Incarnation. This is one of the mysteries of our faith, that God would come down to earth, taking flesh upon Himself, while remaining fully Divine and yet also becoming fully human. His name is Immanuel meaning “God with us”. Born of a virgin Mary and yet conceived not through the seed of a man but rather through the power of the Holy Spirit, It is a mystery that is above our puny reason to completely grasp but it is something which we embrace because it is received through revelation.
The reason we rejoice in this miraculous occurrence is because this tiny babe of Bethlehem would grow to a man and would then suffer a bloody, horrendous death on a Roman cross, not for anything that he had done but rather for what we human beings had done, namely break the laws of God. God’s justice demanded that since man had sinned, a man must pay the price for those sins. However, mere human beings cannot endure the penalty meted out for violations of His laws. That necessitated a being who was fully man, who could then legally satisfy the righteous requirements of that aggrieved Deity, but at the same time, was sinless in Himself and who could endure both the physical and more importantly, the spiritual suffering required if God’s justice was to be satisfied.
This is what we Christians believe that Jesus Christ has done for us, namely suffered in our place and taken upon Himself the just punishment of our sins so that we might be forgiven and then pronounced righteous in the eyes of a holy God on account of the work of our substitute. This was the reason that He came into the world, those many, many years ago – not to merely bring us a moral code, as good as that is, but for the sole purpose of offering Himself for the sins of many.
“Payment God cannot demand twice; first at the hands of my Substitute and then at my own hands”.
It is this reason that we deem the Christmas season as a time of Joy and Peace. Peace, because the cause of enmity between God and ourselves has been dealt with and the justice of God is satisfied. Joy because the beauty of heaven is now opened to us and the path to eternal life made clear.
May you all have a Blessed and Happy Christmas.