At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Jewish people anticipated a royal king to deliver them from oppression and establish an earthly kingdom. But what they received through the birth of a child was so much more than deliverance from circumstances and the success of a temporary reign.
Instead, God established His eternal kingdom, provided a path for salvation, reconciled us to right relationship with Himself, and brought hope to a broken world. Though many of the Jewish people didn’t fully understand or appreciate it at the time, it’s just like our God to go above and beyond our expectations.
Before Jesus, the world was enslaved to sin, and God’s people were required to make sacrificial offerings to Him as atonement. While it’s beautiful that God offered His people grace through the Old Testament Law, how incredible that He sent Jesus, who alone has freed us from the enslavement of sin and is our ultimate atoning sacrifice!
In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul lays out clearly just how great a gift we have in Jesus, our Savior: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” Before his salvation, Paul persecuted Christians, yet God freely poured out His extravagant grace on him, working through him to write much of the New Testament and spread the gospel to the world.
Jesus, too, referenced the overflowing grace of God in His Parable of the Unmerciful Servant, saying, “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” He also took it a step further, sharing how our salvation should influence us to live a life of forgiveness and grace for those around us. Jesus echoed this in the Great Commission, where He pointed out that salvation isn’t something to be kept secret, but to be fanned into flame and shared.
This Christmas, let’s press into the incredible truth that, through Jesus, we have received the greatest gift. It doesn’t matter what we’ve done, where we’ve been, or how we think of ourselves—we are forgiven and no longer have to carry the weight of paying for our own sin and failure. We can walk confidently in the freedom of knowing that Jesus has broken the rule of sin and death off our lives and delivered us from a debt we could never pay. In Him, we have hope and the promise of eternal life—what a reason to celebrate!
Prayer: Father, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son to make a way for me to have an everlasting relationship with You. This Christmas, remind me of just how much You love me and how much I mean to You, and give me a boldness to share the good news of what You’ve done in my life with those around me.