Many families will sit down together and read the Christmas story from the Bible this year. Chances are you’ve heard the story several times, and you probably know much of it by heart. While we’re good at remembering the “what,” the “why” might be a little fuzzy. How long has it been since you’ve stopped to think about the “why” of Christmas? Here are three reasons why Jesus came to earth:
Jesus was born to fulfill prophecy
For over a thousand years, God’s prophets were predicting the coming of the Messiah. It was a common theme throughout Jewish religion that God would send a Messiah who would free His people. Prophet after prophet foretold his coming, his life, and his death. Sabbath after Sabbath the people would gather for worship, and the Scriptures would be read about the Messiah that would be sent from God. And then, on that night in Bethlehem, the promise of God throughout the ages came true. “I came,” Jesus said, “to fulfill the words of the prophets.”
Jesus was born to bring division
While Christ did come to bring peace, the inevitable result of Christ’s birth is conflict, because his message and his teaching demand the hearer to make a choice. Jesus’ teaching makes us choose between our priorities and His. Wouldn’t it be nice to follow a God who allows us do whatever we want, believe whatever we want, and act however we want? In fact, many people try to serve God in that way. They want to be known as a follower, yet they refuse to allow God to be the one to set the agenda for how they live their lives. Everybody wants to wear the crown, but nobody wants to carry the cross.
Following Jesus means that we accept and follow his priorities and standards instead of our own. When Jesus says things like “If anyone wants to follow me, then he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me,” Jesus is telling us that to follow means to follow, not to lead. “Make a choice,” Jesus says. Whose standards will you live by?
Jesus was born to seek and save the lost
Although the world tries to tell us that a life without Christ is exciting and fulfilling, in reality it’s a dead-end road. It’s a life of wandering and confusion, without direction or purpose. We become lost and unable to find our way.
That’s why Jesus came- to find us and save us. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, Jesus can find you and change you. There is no sin so terrible, no past so horrible, or no life so miserable that Jesus can’t mend. There’s hope for you, because Jesus was born to find you.
Lots of people know “what” happened on the night that Jesus was born. But those who grasp the “why” are the ones whose lives are transformed by Christmas. The Christmas story is more than just a pageant. It’s about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, coming to earth to transform our lives. This Christmas, as you read the “what,” don’t forget to reflect on the “why.”