Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been considering the Incarnation—God becoming man, the Word becoming flesh. But this week, we want to look at the reasons why Jesus came. I’ve chosen a few that will bring into perspective the purpose of Christmas. We as believers are celebrating the coming of the Son of God into the world, but what did He come to do?
To Save Us from Sin
In Luke 9, we see Jesus passing through the region of Samaria with His disciples, and the Samaritans were seemingly indifferent to the presence of Christ. This upset James and John, and they said to Jesus, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them …?” Jesus rebuked them, saying: “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” Then He said, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (verses 54–56). Contrary to what many might think, Jesus didn’t come to destroy lives or to make people miserable. Jesus came to make our lives better. He came not to destroy, but to save.
To save from what? Primarily, to save from sin. Sin, believe it or not, is the real problem in the world. So often we treat the symptoms rather than getting to the root. And sin is the root of all of our ills and the base of all our troubles.
Recall what the angels said to Joseph, “You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). His name is connected to His mission, and His mission has been fulfilled.
To Pay Our Debt
Second, Jesus came to give His life as a ransom. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). To save us would cost Jesus something beyond the Incarnation. It would cost Him His life as well. Now the Incarnation, as miraculous as it is, was not enough to save us. God could not fulfill that mission by just becoming a man. More was needed. He partook of flesh and blood in order to, through death, “destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
Peter reminds us that we were not “redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, … but with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19).
God is our righteous Judge, and a penalty had to be paid, but we cannot pay it. So Jesus settled our debt by shedding His own blood.
To Give Us Abundant Life
Third, in John 10:10 we read, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus came to give us life. Implied in these words is this: Mankind’s view of life isn’t life at all, according to Jesus. He is talking about spiritual things. Remember, because of sin, we were dead. We needed to be made alive, and we have been through faith in Christ. But what we’ve been given is spiritual life; Jesus called it abundant life. And what He’s talking about is a superior quality of life.
As we look around us, we see that certain people’s quality of life is better than others, depending on their income, state of health, place of residence, etc. But Jesus is telling us about a quality of life that far exceeds the best imaginable situation here in this world. It is marked, first of all, by meaning. Life means something. And because our lives have meaning, they also have purpose.
Your life has meaning and purpose, but these will only be found when you come to Jesus. Reconciliation with your Creator needs to take place. Again, harkening back to Charles Wesley’s Christmas hymn, “Peace on earth and mercy mild. God and sinners reconciled!”
So a few questions to ponder: do you know Him? Have you received His gift? All of the gifts that come through Christmas are really a shadow of the gift that God originally gave. What was this gift? Eternal life is through Christ Jesus our Lord. You cannot have eternal life apart from Christ. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). It’s not possible to have life without Jesus Christ. Have you received Him?
If you haven’t, please don’t delay another moment. You’ll never regret the decision to follow Christ. Receive Him today, and have a very Merry Christmas.