Happy Holidays everyone. I don’t know about you but I love Christmas. I wasn’t always like that though. Sure, I loved the Christmas season when I was a young child because it was all about Santa coming and my siblings and I always tried our best to act as good as possible so we could get on the “Nice List” and get tons of gifts.
As the years went by, the gifts went down in quantity. That kind of defeated the purpose in Christmas for me because; the reality is that Christmas was always about me. Sure, it was nice to spend time with family and have some awesome food but I mean, c’mon, everyone kid knows Christmas is about getting stuff.
So, Christmas began to become a little duller to me and I found myself in the place where every year I had to buy more and more gifts for more and more people. My budget was always really tight around then because I had my car inspection and registration due. Someone should do something about that!
So Christmas meant very little to me. However, over the past few years I’ve really begun to appreciate the season. I enjoy Christmas music again and I try very hard to listen to only Christmas music on my iPod during the weeks leading up to the holiday and I love watching Christmas movies. Some must see movies for me every year always include Home Alone 1 and 2; It’s A Wonderful Life, The Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Elf.
Since I have been more active in the church over the past few years, I am constantly reminded of what the season is all about. So I hear it in church and I read it on blogs and other resources I subscribe to that the Christmas season is all about Jesus and we need to remember him and take time for that. Well, here’s what I say:
Christmas is all about me!
I. Christmas is about my sin.
Romans 3:23 “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
I fell short of God’s standard of perfection. I fell short of God’s call to be holy and perfect. I messed up. No matter how hard I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to measure up to the standard God set before me. Yet, Christmas is about an Exchange.
Romans 3:24, “Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”
Jesus, who willingly offered himself as the substitute for my sins, exchanged his life for mine. He not only died for me, but through him, I am called “Righteous.” God’s intent was not simply for Jesus to die but, through his death and resurrection, give people a way to be reconnected. Jesus accomplished this through his perfect obedience to the law, dying in our place and raising again on the third day.
Jesus exchanged his life for mine when he died for me and he died as me, on the cross.
II. Christmas is about my destination
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My sin was leading me towards eternal separation from God. Yet, God, in his grace and love did something about it. God’s second great exchange was to take my destination (death) and replace it with eternal life. God accomplished this through his love, mercy and grace. God didn’t simply forgive the sin in me, he exchanged the consequence of that sin, namely, death for eternal life through Jesus.
Jesus exchanged my death for life by his grace through faith. Eternal life begins with faith in the Son of God.
III. Christmas is about my identity
1 Cor. 15:51, 53 & Col. 3:3-4, “But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed…For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.” “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”
Sin not only leads people towards destruction but also defines them. The Scriptures refer to those who living in sin as “sinner”, “lost”, “children of wrath” and “enemies of God.” This definition is radically altered when a person comes into a relationship with Christ Jesus and places faith in Christ. It is not simply a faith that changes but an identity that occurs, a transformation is born. In Christ, our lives are hidden and he is our life. Thus, our identity is changed and we will, one day, share in his glory!
Jesus exchanged my old nature and made me a new creation by the power of his unfailing love.