Note: This was taken from a sermon I preached on Christmas Eve this year at my home church. I hope you have a blessed Christmas!
Why did God send His Son?
Every year at Christmas we are reminded that God sent his Son into the world as a baby – a small, helpless child. We drive down the street and we are reminded of it as we drive past nativity scenes. Our songs on the radio, like Joy to the World, Away in a Manger and O Little Town of Bethlehem, sing praise to the fact that Jesus came. But tonight, I want to ask a simple question – why? Why did God send his Son? Why didn’t he just wave his hand and make sin disappear? Or why didn’t he just rip open the sky and descend to the Earth and rescue us from this world? Let’s look at the Scriptures:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.
I believe there are at least four reasons that God broke into time and sent his son, born of a virgin, over 2000 years ago.
- Jesus came to fulfill prophecy. At the very beginning of creation. Just after sin enters the world, God prophesies the impossible: that even though sin entered the world through one man, he was going to save the world through one man. This one man was going to crush the head of the snake. Later on through the prophet Isaiah, we see God expand upon this promise. The Messiah was coming to establish his Kingdom on the Earth and to bring peace and justice. Daniel elaborates on this further by saying that The Son of Man would be given dominion and glory and a kingdom. And that all peoples, nations and languages will serve him and that the kingdom will not pass away or be destroyed. Isaiah later on says “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies in his life, death and resurrection. Jesus came because God’s word is true and it never fails.
- Jesus was born to live. God wanted to show us how to live. He wanted to give us an example for life and holiness. God in the Torah says to “be holy as I am holy.” And while he could have just left it at that, with all of the laws of the Old Testament to guide us, he went the extra step to show us how to live righteously. God cares about holiness. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.
- Jesus came in judgment. We have to be careful with this. John 3:17 says that God did not send his son to condemn the world, but through him, the world might be saved. But later on, in the book of John, we find something different. “And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind” John 9:39. So how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory statements. The key lies in the two different words used – judgment and condemn. Jesus came to issue judgment, but to those whom he calls, there will be no condemnation. Jesus says those who are blind will see and those that see will be blind. He came to judge the proud. Those who think they can see, but in reality they are blind. Blinded by their own sin. And to those who are blind, Jesus offers sight. He gives grace to the humble. And through His judgment, He reveals His grace.
- Jesus came to die. This is a point usually made around Easter. It’s usually made on a more solemn occasion. Have you ever noticed that so many of the songs we sing at Christmas are so joyful, yet Easter tends to be more solemn? Can you even think of any real Easter songs? It’s striking that Christmas is marked by singing. I’m personally of the opinion that both days should be marked by joy. Why? Because Jesus’ death was full of purpose. It was to set us free. It was to give us life. It was to break the bonds of sin and death. It was to show us God’s amazing love for us! Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God sent his Son into the world because he was telling a story and Jesus’ birth was was the culmination of this epic poem that God was weaving together for his own glory. Just like Pastor John’s story of three trees last week, God has told a story with three trees (Click here for the story of the three trees). The poem starts in Genesis in the garden with a Tree – the Tree of Life. The poem culminates in the center of time with another tree – The Cross of Calvary also known as the Tree of Life. And finally, at the end of this epic story, we see God brings it back full circle in the very last chapter of the last book in the bible – The Revelation.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:1-5
So this Christmas, reflect on the revelation that Jesus is the Light of the World and he was sent by God to fulfill prophecies, to show us how to live, to reveal His grace through judgment and to die for our sins.