Birth or Death?

Jesus Came Into the World…

When the apostle Paul wrote to his young mentee Timothy he spoke of how Christ was merciful toward him in putting him into he ministry even though he considered himself to have been the chief of all sinners. But this was possible because Jesus had come into the world that He might save sinners (1 Tim 1:12-17). While so many in the world are remembering the birth of our Savior at this time of year it is more imperative for us to remember the true reason why He came.

Yes, the angels pronounced at His birth “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). The peace on earth and good will toward men was the gift of God’s Son but was not to be “between” men, but “for” men. Sin had brought separation between man and his Creator and spiritual hopelessness and futility of life. Jesus said His arrival, life, teaching, death, burial, and resurrection would not bring peace “on” earth but instead it would bring division (Luke 12:51). Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

  1. Jesus Came Into the World to Reconcile Men With God. Zacharias, prior to the birth of Christ, prophesied that the Lord God of Israel had “visited and redeemed his people” raising up a “horn of salvation” in the house of David (Luke 1:68-69). The apostle Paul said that through the death of Christ we are redeemed from all iniquity and purified, not by His birth (Titus 2:14). We are reconciled by the “death of His Son” in one body “by the cross” (Romans 5:10; Ephesians 2:16).
  2. Jesus Came Into the World to Save Us From Our Sins. Yes, an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph and said that this son who was about to be born would “save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) and some 30 years later Jesus Himself would declare that He has come to “save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11). However it was not the tears of a newborn but the blood of a sinless Lamb that would pay the price and allow us to be justified (Romans 3:25; 5:9);
  3. Jesus Came Into the World to Give His Life for Us. That is the hard truth for so many today. Even those who want a Savior. Jesus paid the price for our sins; He gave His life as a ransom for you and me (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). The consequences of this selfless act are hard for selfish men to swallow. Jesus died so that we might live and we must die to live “in” Him in this life so that we can live “with” Him in eternity.
  4. Jesus Came Into the World to Bring Sinners to Repentance. Christ said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32; Mark 2:17). His death demands a change in our lives! God, because of what the cross cost Him, demands that everyone who desires to take part in this great gift repent, obey, and live for Him (Acts 17:30).

Yet herein is the rub for so many today. It is easier to look at a baby lying in the sanitized manger of a nativity scene than to bow in the blood-soaked mire beneath the cross of Calvary. Look up at his bruised, bloodied, and mangled body and consider that He hangs there like that because of your sins. What will you do with this Jesus?

Many in the next week will here the words of the angel who spoke to the shepherds who were tending to their flocks when Jesus was born, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Just remember when you hear these words that the peace and salvation the child brought was realized “through the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:10).

He invites you to come to Him: not in a manger, but upon Calvary. Obey Him, be faithful, and realize the wonderful gift of God.

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