In April of 2011 my wife and I drove home through a storm. We later learned that we had crossed the paths of multiple tornadoes. Had we arrived a few minutes sooner or later at some of those locations we would have been swept away. God’s timing saved our physical lives.
As Christmas approaches, we pause to celebrate God’s timing in graciously providing for our spiritual salvation. “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” (Galatians 4:4) “His Son” declares Jesus’ deity. “Born of a woman” reveals Jesus’ humanity. “Born under the Law” shows Jesus’ responsibility to follow God’s moral Law.
God sent His Son to earth, “In order that He (God) might redeem those who were under the Law…” (Galatians 4:5a). Under the Law’s demands, every human being stands condemned (Galatians 3:11). To redeem means to pay the price of release. When we take our empty cans to the redemption center we hand them over in exchange for an agreed upon price.
As fully God and fully man, Jesus’s was our sinless substitute (Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21). His death paid the price that releases (redeems) all who believe in Him from the condemnation we all deserve for violating God’s moral Law.
Without the birth of Christ there is no death of Christ for our sins. Without the death of Christ, there is no redemption of sinful humans or resurrection of Christ ensuring that the redeemed will rise again (1 Corinthians 15:16-17,20). Without the redemption and resurrection of Christ, there is no escape from God’s judgment (Romans 8:1).
Deliverance from God’s wrath resulting in our adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5b) is made possible through Christ’s birth and made personal through our faith. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26).
For God’s children, Christmas is a time to celebrate the gift of our redemption and inclusion into God’s family and to communicate with others that they too can enjoy it.
For all who do not believe, there is still time to receive the gift of forgiveness and new life in Christ. Turn from your sin and trust in Christ’s death as the punishment you deserve.
This Christmas, don’t let our contemplation of what presents we’ll give or the consideration of what gifts we’ll receive eclipse our reception and celebration of the “indescribable gift” God gave (2 Corinthians 9:15). Christ came to save everyone who believes from eternal condemnation and to secure eternal life for them. No better gift was ever given.
Have a Blessed Christmas!