June 29, 2017

Born to Die

Consider for a moment the reason we celebrate Christmas – the birth of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. We celebrate because a tiny baby was born for the purpose of dying. We celebrate because the payment for our sin began to be offered that day in Bethlehem. The day Christ was born on this earth, He began His journey to the cross. The day He was born, He began to fulfill the requirements of our consequences. His entire life of obedience led up to His climax upon the cross, His death in our place. We celebrate Christmas, because God the Son “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). God Himself, the Creator of the universe and Sustainer of life, perfect and holy in every way, chose to become “nothing”! He chose to be bound by the limitations of man’s sinfulness – sickness, weakness, imperfection.

This is why we celebrate Christmas – because of the greatness and goodness of our God, because of the great mercy and love He has toward us, because of the greatness of His holiness and righteousness. For through His birth and life on this earth,“he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Through His birth, we can find freedom and righteousness and abundant life with Him forevermore!

The Babe in Bethlehem’s manger laid, in humble form so low,
By wondering angels is surveyed, through all His scenes of woe.
A Savior! Sinners all around sing, shout the wondrous word;
Let every bosom hail the sound: a Savior! Christ the Lord!

For not to sit on David’s throne with worldly pomp and joy,
He came for sinners to atone, and Satan to destroy;
To preach the word of life divine, to give the living bread,
To heal the sick with hand benign, and raise to life the dead;

He preached, He suffered, bled and died, uplift ’twixt earth and skies;
In sinners’ stead was crucified, for sin a sacrifice.
Well may we sing the Savior’s birth, who need the grace so given,
And hail His coming down to earth, Who raises us to Heav’n.

Nowell, Nowell—
O sing a Savior’s birth:
All hail His coming down to earth,
Who raises us to Heav’n.