When you think of Christian holidays, Christmas is likely the first to come to your mind. Christmas gets lots of attention both inside and outside of the church walls. Spiritually speaking, however, Christmas is just the beginning.
Christmas celebrates God
So, what do we need to be rescued from? In a word: ourselves.
God loves people and wants a relationship with each of us. But there’s one big problem. God is perfect, so our wrongdoings and rebellion separate us from Him. Perfection can’t be in a relationship with imperfection.
Instead of giving up on us, God planned to save us from the consequences of our wrongs and restore our relationship with Him. We can’t do this ourselves. Since we’re already imperfect, there’s no way to become perfect again. We can’t reach up to God, so He reached down to us by sending a Rescuer.
Jesus is that Rescuer.
God came to earth as a human, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself for us. Christmas is the celebration of the rescuer arriving — a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Think about this: When God came to earth, He started out in the same weak and vulnerable state as the rest of us.
Why would God choose to come to earth as a helpless baby? Why not come fully grown and begin the rescue mission with a display of power?
Jesus lived a human life from infanthood to adulthood, with all of life’s challenges. He did what we could not: He lived a perfect life.
Jesus then opened the final act of the rescue plan. He sacrificed Himself to break down the barrier between God and people and restore our relationship with God.
On the Friday before the first Easter, a day we refer to as Good Friday, Jesus sacrificed Himself by dying in our place. Jesus’ perfect life allowed Him to stand in our place and take the penalty for our wrongdoings.
But why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God just rescue us without a sacrifice? God is loving, but He’s also just, so He can’t ignore wrongdoing and its consequences.
The ultimate consequence for all of our wrongdoing is separation from
The rescue plan doesn’t end with Good Friday. Jesus didn’t stay dead; His separation from God wasn’t forever. On Easter, Jesus broke free from death, coming back to life to complete the rescue mission.
Easter celebrates the triumphant
Check out the other articles in this series:
Did Christ come to rescue us from a messy world full of injustice, fear and political unrest or was it something else?
Cru staff members wishing you a Merry Christmas in their heart language.
Neil Downey compares the week between Christmas and New Year's Day to our current era in history - the time between Christ's first and second coming.
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