The real joy of Christmas comes when we discover and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. The true meaning of Christmas can only be found by asking and answering this question: “Why did Jesus come to earth?” Why did Jesus come to earth? Was it to give us an additional opportunity to “make merry”? Was it to give people an occasion to spend money on presents, greeting cards, and Christmas decorations? The purpose of this question is not to condemn these activities, but to cause us to think about the real meaning of Christmas.
Why did Jesus come to earth? Let’s let Jesus answer that question Himself. In Matthew 20:28 Jesus says, “. . . the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus was born on this earth in order to die for our sins, as a perfect sacrifice to a holy God. He didn’t have to come as a helpless infant. He didn’t have to come and die for our sins, but He chose to do so out of love for each of us.
In John 10:10 Jesus states another reason for His coming to earth. Jesus said, “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus came to give us the kind of life that neither money nor anything else on this earth can buy.
Do you and I have the true joy of Christmas this year? In the midst of wrapping presents and making preparations, is there room in our lives for Jesus? Today, over 2000 years after that glorious event, millions of people have no room for Jesus. Although they participate enthusiastically in the festivities of the Christmas season, the Lord Jesus is kept out of their lives. How about you? Is there room in your life for Jesus the Messiah? What better time than during this season to rededicate your life to Him, or to receive Him into your life as your personal Savior and Lord!
Just prior to World War II, in the country of India, there existed a Christian school for the children of the lowest class of society, called the “untouchables”. Every year these students received Christmas presents from children in England. The girls received a doll and the boys received a toy. On one occasion the doctor from a nearby mission hospital was asked to hand out the gifts. While he was there, he told the youngsters about a village where the boys and girls had never heard of Jesus. He suggested that maybe they would like to give them some of their old toys as presents. The children liked the idea and agreed to do so. A week later the doctor returned to collect the gifts. One by one the children filed by and handed the doctor a doll or a toy. To his great surprise, they all gave the new present they had just received a week earlier. When he asked “why”, a girl spoke up and said, “Think what God did by giving us His only Son. Could we give Him less than our best?”
What’s it going to be like for you on the day after Christmas – when Christmas is over? Let’s go back to the original Christmas. On the day following Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph were faced with the ordinary tasks of caring for a new baby. The shepherds would be back on the hillside tending their sheep. All the elements were present for an emotional letdown, which often follows an emotional high. But I don’t believe they experienced any “after-Christmas blues”. Mary and Joseph didn’t quickly forget all that happened, and the shepherds couldn’t easily forget what they had seen and heard. The angelic message had proven to be true, and their lives were filled with new hope and anticipation.
Two thousand years later, we have the full story. Jesus came into this world to die for our sins. He then conquered death by rising from the grave. We have more truth to ponder and more reasons to glorify God than did Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. We need not experience an “after-Christmas letdown”. As we remind ourselves of the birth, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, may each day of our lives be filled with joy.
May you have a joyous Christmas season, and “after-Christmas” season!