As Christmas approaches, there are many Bible verses that come to mind as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Savior's birth. One person may deeply treasure Isaiah 9:6 which says, “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Another may love to meditate on Luke 2:6-7, “And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
But in all my days of preparing my heart and mind to celebrate Christmas, I have never before been drawn to this verse – before today: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is,“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
I get why you might be scratching your head as you try to make the connection between this verse and Christmas. But stay with me.
I must ask myself the question, “Why did Jesus come?” As we celebrate His birth at Christmas, we should ponder “What was the purpose of His coming to earth as a baby?”
The clearest answer to that question is given by Jesus, Himself, in Luke 19:10 when He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus was on a rescue mission. I was lost. You were lost. The world and every person in it was lost because of our sin. But thanks be to God the Father for sending His Son to rescue you and me.
And there's the connection to Matthew 27:46: Jesus chose to take on my sin, your sin, and the sin of the world so we could be reconciled to God through His sacrificial death on the cross. Here's how Warren Wiersbe shares: “God forsook His own Son that He might never forsake His own people (1)”.
Those words from Wiersbe stopped me dead in my tracks as I read them this morning. He forsake His own Son so that you and I might be reconciled to Him. That is stunning. Almost unfathomable.
I hope you can take a moment, even right now, to stop and thank God for this stunning gift He gave at Christmas. To take a “holy pause” and pray a prayer similar to this:
Lord, I struggle to find words that are adequate to express my gratitude for the gift of Your Son. A simple “thank You” does not seem enough, but it is shared from the bottom of my heart. Thank You that You did not spare Your own Son, but gave Him to rescue me and graft me into Your eternal family. Help me to give thanks and celebrate Your indescribable gift both today, on Christmas, and every day of the year. In the Name of Jesus!
FINAL THOUGHT: If you are reading this and are not sure if you have ever truly been rescued from your sins and reconciled to God, please take a few minutes to go to this link. Clicking there might be the most important thing you do this Christmas!
(1) Source: Old Testament Commentary. Warren Wiersbe. Psalm 9.
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Written by Glen Solberg, Abiding Marriage 2019. All Rights Reserved. Please go to our Contact Us page for questions or comments.