I was driving through town this week listening to Christmas music on a Christian radio station. In the gap between the songs, a lady came on and said “Jesus comes to make us free from all the things that ruin our lives. That’s what I try to remember this time of year.” With that another Christmas song came on and I was left yelling at the inanimate radio. (A problem that occasionally occurs in my vehicle!)
Is that true? Did Jesus simply come to make us free from all the things that ruin our lives? What did this woman mean by this statement? It would seem she meant what many “me centered” Christians think: Jesus came to make our lives better and happier. He came to take away the yucky things that can foul up our lives. However, could we have all the yucky things taken away that ruin our lives and still perish in Hell? Absolutely. Not only that, but if Jesus simply came to free us from that which ruins our lives, what does that mean if we live a life of hardship in which our life seems ruined? What does it mean for the Christian in Iraq who lost their daughter and is permanently displaced. Wouldn’t it mean Christ ultimately failed then? Would the 10 Apostles who were killed affirm this woman’s statement?
Why did Jesus come? This is a deeply important question and one we should ponder, especially as Christmas approaches. The Bible is crystal clear on this point. Paul states in I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Jesus came to rescue us from eternal damnation and reconcile us to God the Father. You see, our biggest problem wasn’t and isn’t things that ruin our lives. That is contemporary “me-centered” Christianity. Our biggest problem is that we are dead in sin and enemies of God who rebel against God. Yet, because Christ came, we can be made alive and our rebellion can be forgiven. We can be reconciled to the God who made us and loves us! “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:6, 8-10)
The reason Jesus came is far greater and more grand than to make our lives easier and take away things that ruin our lives. He came to rescue us so that we can be spared the judgment of God and spend eternity with Him! How can one experience this reconciliation with God? Romans 10:9-10 states, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Now that’s good news! That is a reason for celebrating Christmas, even in the midst of heartache and pain, suffering and grief! So, this Christmas, let’s biblically reflect on why Jesus came and praise God for this marvelous, undeserved gift!