Christmas is a time to celebrate God’s gift to us. He gave us His Son who is the Lord and Savior of this world. As our Lord and Savior, He provides us with a whole new way of life.
In what way does Jesus provide us with a whole new way of life?
(1) Jesus provides hope.
In Luke 2, we learned that Jesus is the Savior, the Messiah, the King of this world. If we are honest, a Savior is what we are all looking for and want someone or something to save us because we know the world in which we live is broken. You only have to open the newspaper or turn on the nightly news to know that’s true.
At the core of that brokenness is our sin. Sin is more than just breaking the rules, sin is an all-out rebellion against God. Because we have sinned against God, we deserve for God to punish us for rebelling against Him. There is nothing we can do to escape God’s punishment, which means that apart from Jesus we don’t have any hope for the future.
Jesus, however, gives us hope because He takes our punishment for us. In doing so, He repairs our relationship with the Father so that we no longer live under the threat of God’s wrath being poured out on us.
Along with saving us from the Father’s wrath, Jesus also saves us from sin and promises us life eternal in a completely different world. A world that isn’t broken, but is perfect.
So, in Jesus, we experience hope. In Him, we have something to look forward to. And that hope is life changing.
(2) Jesus provides us with the ability to pursue forgiveness
Say I went over to your house with my kids. Right now, they are really into playing superheroes. When they play superhero’s, they run all over the house like crazy, chasing one another and sometimes knocking into furniture. Say one of them knocked your lamp over and it broke. Instead of making me pay for the lamp, you said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.” Not only would that be extremely nice of you, but you would be absorbing the cost of that lamp because you would be replacing that lam with your own money.
That’s exactly what Jesus did for us except on an infinitely greater scale. He absorbed the cost, not of a broken lamp, but of the eternal punishment we deserve.
The remarkable thing is that He purposely came to provide us with forgiveness. You see, Jesus didn’t just happen to forgive because it was convenient for Him, or He was in the right place at the right time. Instead, He actually pursued us in an effort to repair our relationship.
For those of us who have experienced Jesus’ forgiveness, we should be willing and motivated to forgive others. We should even pursue others as Jesus pursued us, desiring a restored relationship as He did.
While forgiveness is costly and requires some vulnerability on our part. It’s something we should be willing to extend to others because it has been extended to us. Being willing to forgive is necessary if we expect to have any sort of deep and lasting relationship with others because inevitable a situation is going to arise where someone is going to sin against us and we are going to have to extend forgiveness. And that’s inevitable because we are all sinners.
But as you probably know sinners, forgiveness doesn’t come easy, which is why we need Jesus. We need Him to change our lives so that we are not only forgiven but can pursue forgiveness.
(3) Jesus provides us with the ability to deal with suffering.
Reading some of the recent headlines, I’m sure at some point you’ve wondered why God continues to allow suffering in this world. Especially seeing all the suffering that has come about as the result of hurricanes, forest fires, and earthquakes. Along with natural disasters, we’ve also seen others suffer at the hands of ungodly people who have used and abused them. Reading about and seeing all this suffering, it’s natural for us to ask why. Why does God allow it to continue? It’s a common question. I wish I could tell you exactly why God allows everything to happen that happens, but I can’t.
While I can’t give you a definitive answer to why God allows suffering, what I can tell you is that God is not ambivalent about human suffering. He has and is doing something about it. Christmas is proof. As one author says,
“The gift of Christmas gives you a resource — a comfort and consolation — for dealing with suffering, because in it we see God’s willingness to enter this world of suffering to suffer with us and for us.” 
Knowing that God Himself has suffered on our behalf should help us to face suffering.
(4) Jesus pushes us to care for others physical needs
When Jesus was born, the eternal spiritual God became a man. Not in an illusory way, but in a real physical way. He didn’t just appear as a man; He was actually a man. That’s unique because most other world religions either believe the physical is bad and something to cast off, that God would never stoop to the level of a man, or that He would never willingly experience physical need. But Jesus did. As such, He knows what it means to be poor, to be a refugee, to face persecution, to hunger and thirst, to be beaten, to be falsely accused and ultimately be condemned to an unjust death. He knows what it’s like to face all those things. Since Jesus faced those things we know that God not only cares about our spiritual need, but He also cares about our physical.
We not only see evidence of that in His but throughout His ministry.He healed the broken, fed the hungry, spoke up for the oppressed and misled. He did all those things and more. He did them because He cares about our physical needs.
As His people, we should care about these things as well. Christmas, then, should be a reminder that we are to work for social justice, to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, to continue to minister to the broken, the poor, and the hungry.
(5) Jesus allows us to reconnect with those we despise
Let me just say that no one is off the hook on this one. Sure, you might not be prejudice toward another race, but that doesn’t mean you don’t despise someone. For all of us, at least to some degree, there is someone we look down on, are snobbish towards. Someone we look at and say, “They are the problem with this world.”
But Christmas is the end of us thinking that we are better than someone else. That’s because Christmas tells us that we aren’t good enough. Jesus came to us instead of vice versa. His coming tells us that there is nothing we can do to get ourselves into heaven. We might be able to get into the best school, secure the best job, live in the best neighborhood, and rub elbows with the most connected people in town, but we still aren’t good enough to get ourselves into heaven. Jesus’ coming proves that.
So rather than thinking that we are better than someone else, rather than despising others, we need to recognize that they are just like us — sinners who are desperately in need of a Savior.
Thankfully that Savior has come. In coming, He provides us with a whole new way of life. One that:(1) Provides hope, (2) That gives us the ability to pursue forgiveness and (3) face suffering. (4) One that pushes us to care for others physical needs and (5) to reconnect with those we despise.
In all those ways and more, Jesus provides us with a whole new way of life. A way of life that wouldn’t be possible without the gift of Jesus. And that’s because He changes us from the inside out. He changes us through and through. He is a revolutionary gift that makes a revolutionary impact on our lives.
Question for Reflection
- Do you recognize the revolutionary impact Jesus can have on a life?
 Tim Keller, The Gifts of Christmas, in Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, pg 39.
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Reblogged this on Madison Elizabeth Baylis.