Amidst all the Christmas blog posts that I have read recently, there seems to be one thing lacking: specific focus on what the birth of Jesus means and how it effects our lives in the here and now. There is MUCH talk of how Jesus was born for the sole purpose of dying on the cross to atone for our sins (I’ll deal with that one later), of how He was born in a manger, of how Mary was a virgin when He was born. But there is precious little on how Jesus’ birth is life-changing now in the present day.
The birth of Jesus in the turning point in history. At Jesus, traditionally speaking, BCE (Before Common Era, formerly BC) became CE (Common era, formerly AD). Time is measured differently at this point. It goes backwards and then, at the coming of Messiah, moves forward. I’m sure there is something to say on that point, but I’ll leave it alone for now.
Jesus’ birth is important for many other reasons. I believe the most important to be, though, that, at Jesus, the door began to open giving us all free access to the Lord God. The Supreme God. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But what needs to happen for us to have access to God? Well, firstly, we must be chosen. In the Old Testament era, only one man could enter into the presence of God. This man was chosen specifically by God. God continues to work in this way today.
Not all men (or women) have access to God. Some because of ignorance. These are the ones who Jesus commands us to take the gospel to. But others because God won’t have them. Some would say this is cold of a loving God, but is it really? Is God obligated to love in the way that we understand love?
Secondly, to have access to God, our sin must be atoned for. This Jesus did at His death.
Lastly, and this is, I think, by far the most important thing that Jesus’ birth does (and a vital part of having access to God), it ushers in the beginning of the perfect example of what God is like.
For centuries, people were left with a list of rules to guide their lives by. But they had no perfect example of what this life guided by the rules looked like. There was no rabbai to teach them and show them the ways of God. With Jesus, this all changed.
Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. This is not some distant-future event. Jesus is that prince now. He rules by way of peace. His life reflected this. If we want to be like God, we must live lives of peace as well.
As the angels said to the shepherds at the announcement of His birth,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14 KJV)
This Christmas, find connection with God through the promised Messiah, Jesus. Seek Him. Have your sins atoned for. Live like God would demand.