While visiting my folks over Thanksgiving, we all went to a Christmas Variety show at a local theater. Singing, dancing, drama, humor – it was a great production and a lot of fun.
Near the end they did a Nativity segment with Mary and Joseph, baby Jesus and the usual assortment of angels and shepherds, and a narrator explained that the reason Jesus came was to show us that our world would be a little better if we would just be nice to each other.
I’ll admit that there’s plenty of scripture supporting the idea that we should be nice (“love one another” is a phrase that springs to mind), but I think we’re missing the Whole Point of Christmas if we think that Jesus came to spread moralism.
The Bible (our only source of information on the subject) reveals that Jesus came because A) mankind is in grave danger and B) we need a Savior. Not a moral policeman. A Savior.
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:21-23)
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
“…the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
This time of year we’re constantly reminded to not miss the deeper meaning of Christmas. But we’re missing it if we think it’s anything other than this: I am a broken human being who cannot save himself from his own brokenness. Jesus “emptied Himself” and became a man (see Philippians 2) and lived and died performing a rescue operation.
There it is.