When there was nothing more we could give God to atone for our sins, God decided to lend us a helping hand. How? By giving up his only son Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice for us. A pure unadulterated sacrifice, who knew no sin, yet embodied our sins without complaint. The Bible describes what Jesus did for us this way,
"He was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all."
He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.
And as a sheep is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
Basically, God loved us so much, that he gave us his most precious gift 'Jesus'. A love the Bible describes in this manner,
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
And God is still looking to give this gift, to those willing to open up their hearts to receive Jesus today. But if Jesus is a gift, why does the world hate him or have misconceptions about him? The Bible made it clear that,
'God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.'
So why the animosity towards Jesus or anything that is attributed to his name. The answer can be found in the book of John 3:28-21, it says,
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants."
The animosity the world has towards Jesus is one of rebellion. They fail to accept Jesus was God's gift to us. That is, God's way of reconciling us back to himself. A way to restore our broken relationship with God. It is that lack of trust (of God's uncompromising love for us) that will lead to God's judgement of man. Denying Jesus is like saying that God didn't do what the Bible said in the book of John 3:16. (See Bible quote above).
However, for those who believe in God's sacrificial act, the Bible says, 'there is no judgement because they believed.
Jesus himself demonstrated what he came to earth to do, when he ministered to the Samaritan woman at a well in Samaria. The Bible says that at a time when the Jews didn't engage with Samaritans, Jesus did an unusual thing by asking the woman to give him a drink of water. His request took the woman by surprise because she responded,
“You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Though Jesus would have been aware of what the Samaritan woman was inferring to, he responded back saying,
“If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
Meaning that he didn't come to earth merely for the Jews, but was available to anyone who was willing to receive him. Once the woman understood who Jesus was and realised that he didn't see her as an outcast, she was able to open up her heart to receive him. That same principle still applies today. Jesus was God's gift to mankind and he's not restricted to the privileged few.
The Bible says in the book of Luke 2:7, that Mary, the mother of Jesus,
'Gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room available for them at the inn.' (Luke 2:7)
Here's the interesting thing, somebody did have room for Jesus. That room just happens to be a humble manger. Which is saying something. That, if anyone humbly makes room for Jesus in their heart, he would gladly receive them.
The only question is this: Have you got room in your heart for Jesus this Christmas? Hope you make a little room in your heart for him, as you celebrate his birth and what he did for all of us.
Here's wishing you, a Merry Cosy Christ-mas!
Notes: Understandably, Christmas can be a difficult time for some. If that is you, take comfort in knowing that God will be there for you, if you just call out to him. You can see the link below, where I have explained more about this issue under the heading, 'The Hidden Side of Christmas'. If you know someone struggling this Christmas, why not say a prayer for them and if you don't know what to say, you can say the prayer below.
A Christmas Prayer:
Father Lord, please visit those in need this Christmas, including those who may find it difficult to cope during the festive season. May you fill their hearts with your peace, your comfort and your joy, in Jesus name. Amen.
Take care and stay blessed.
I'm Kemi West. Also known as the Postman. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.