[CF Devotionals] 2014-12-18 - Christmas Because

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Luke 2:16-20 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Jesus arrived, God wrapped in human flesh, just as predicted hundreds of years before His birth. Angels announced the birth of Messiah to shepherds, not to royalty or the religious leadership. The question, "Why?" gets asked a great deal.

Why did Jesus have to come?

The answer covers many facets and has been debated by people smarter than me for centuries. The basics are: First, to show God's creation the heart of the Father toward them of love and compassion. Next, He clearly showed the law not to be club but a school master to teach us about our dependence on God. Finally, He came to satisfy the law as the single perfect sacrifice to destroy the power of sin, death and hell.

So why did Jesus have to come Himself?

1 Tim 1:15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

If Paul is placing himself at the end of the line of worthiness he should still find me standing behind him. We are sinners by birth into the race of Adam and Eve. In Ephesians 2:1 we are told that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. It is not only our inherited nature, we ourselves fall short of "good enough" (perfection is required) to be accepted by God.

The law required a blood sacrifice to atone for sin. A lamb without blemish had to be sacrificed each year for sin. The offering was not perfect or the law would have been satisfied and the person it was offered for would have been freed from sin.

This is why Jesus came.

In order to restore the relationship between God and man, sin had to be dealt with - destroyed. The wages of sin is death. Death had to be defeated. (Rom 6:23) Eternity had to be opened - a single path had to be recreated (John 14:6). Jesus' earthly walk begins toward Calvary.

We could not do it ourselves. We were spiritually dead. A dead person has no ability to do anything for themselves, let alone anyone else. Jesus came to live a life free from sin by birth and His life free of sin. This made Him the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Because of His great love for us Jesus came to save us; and because we were utterly helpless to save ourselves.

Today we celebrate our Savior's coming to live and experience the things we do. He came as Mary's baby boy and Joseph's stepson. He was announced by angels, adored by shepherds, and recognized by the wise men from the east as the promised King. Selah.

Luke 2:11-16 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Merry Christmas,

[email mike] jmhoskins@gmail.com

All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

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