God to The Rescue: Christmas Is Just the Beginning

Faith Eng

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 setting in motion His plan to rescue humanity by sending Jesus.

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 God, or spiritual death. Someone had to pay that price, so God came to earth in the form of Jesus to pay it for us.

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 fulfillment of the rescue mission God started at Christmas. Through His sacrifice and resurrection, Jesus offers the amazing gift of unhindered relationship with God and eternal life with Him in Heaven. We just have to accept this gift. Learn more about how to have a relationship with God.

Check out the other articles in this series:

A Legacy of Changed Lives

See how students are making a lasting impact through summer missions with Cru.

©1994-2024 Cru. All Rights Reserved.