What’s the big deal about Christmas? Why does the majority of the planet erupt with words like “Rejoice” and “Hallelujah” over the birth of a peasant boy in a remote corner of the Middle East? Don’t get me wrong. I like the gifts and the fun of it all, but isn’t it all just a bit much? We don’t make nearly so big a deal out of other historical figures, and many of them were far more “important” when they were alive than this guy Jesus was.
Unless there’s something uniquely significant about him being born.
In the movie Terminator, a murderous robot is sent into the past to kill a woman named Sarah Connor. Per the plot of the movie, if Sarah is not killed, in the normal course of things, she’ll give birth to a guy named John Connor who will defeat the robots. The robots have to snuff John Connor out because his life results in their defeat, which means saving all humanity. We get that idea. We’re rooting for her to survive. We want evil defeated so we need that guy to make it.
What if the defeat of evil and the assurance of justice and righteousness for all isn’t a fiction? What if it’s really dependent on one person?
In the movie “Taken,” a young woman is abducted. She’s lost, enslaved, with no hope and time is ticking. If her father doesn’t reach her in time, she’ll disappear permanently and most likely die. We’re rooting for her dad. We desperately want him to rescue her.
What if we were the one who was lost? What if our life depended on someone rescuing us?
Imagine the suspense. Will evil be defeated? Will we be rescued?
Imagine how great your joy and relief would be when the hero saves the day?
If you can appreciate that emotion, you’re starting to scratch the surface of appreciating why billions of people overflow with celebration at the birth of a peasant.
It’s not his birth that matters. It’s what his birth means. That baby went on to defeat death itself. That baby became the rescuer for all mankind. Humanity was trapped in darkness, enslaved by a broken nature, and without hope. That baby grew up and emancipated humankind. Moreover, that baby grew up and promised that part one of the movie would be followed by a sequel that was even better. In the sequel, he promises to put all things right. He says that truth and justice will cover every corner of a brand new earth. That baby assures us eternal fulfillment where no death, disease, hunger, or tears will exist. And His promise is something we can trust because He challenged man to test His power by murdering Him. After surrendering His life by the torture of a Roman cross, and being wrapped in more than 70 pounds of embalming materials, and laying cold for three days, he caused a 2000+ pound stone to roll uphill and walked out into the Easter sunlight alive and carrying the broken chains of sin and death in his hands.
What’s the big deal of Christmas? Because without Christmas, there is no Easter. And without Easter, we are utterly lost. Billions are rejoicing because we have been rescued! We have been made new! The depth and significance of what has been accomplished could not be described if all the pens of all time were to fill every page of every book in history.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.” Isaiah 9:2
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
“When the time came to completion, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.” – Galatians 4:4-7
“Praise the Lord, all nations! Glorify him, all peoples! For his faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!” Psalm 117:1-2
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it…
The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…
Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness.” John 1:1-5, 9-14, 16
Christmas is a big deal. It’s the biggest deal! Rejoice!
If you have trusted in Christ’s finished work: His death, burial, and resurrection, for your Salvation, then Christmas is cause to celebrate your rescue.
If you have not yet trusted in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, Christmas is calling to you and offering you rescue, hope, and eternal position as a member of God’s family and a co-heir with Christ to the kingdom of Heaven! Receive Heaven’s gift and join in the rejoicing!
Merry Christmas! May we never cease to overflow with celebration over what our Great God has done in Christ our Savior and Lord!
I leave you with words from our most theologically rich Christmas hymn. Read these and reflect on their meaning.
Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin’s womb: veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th’incarnate Deity, pleased as man, with men to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give us second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”