As I write this article Christmas and New Year are yet to happen!
The turkey is yet to be wrestled into the oven, the presents are yet to be wrapped (hopefully not by me – I can’t wrap very well), the in-laws are yet to descend and those terrible cracker jokes are yet to be shared - did you hear about the guy who invented fireworks? He was a bright spark!
All that seems so long ago now, doesn’t it? If you are like me, then your are probably asking yourself; is there more to the Christmas message than just a celebration? Can I approach the New Year with hope, or is it just more of the same?
The amazing thing about the Christmas message is not just the celebration we enjoy on Christmas Day – that God sent into the world His only beloved son, who became flesh by being born to a virgin.
Amazing as that fact is, it is only the beginning of the story – like the new ‘Hobbit’ film, there is more to come.
You see, the one who was Mary’s son was also God’s son, thus being fully Man he was also fully God and he had a mission to accomplish.
He went around preaching the good news of God’s coming kingdom, healed many people and even raised folk from the dead.
He did all this to show us he was actually who he claimed to be, and you can read all about it in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), yet He had one final act to fulfil on top off all these good works. He had to go to the Cross – why?
Many years ago, when the world was new, God had made men and women to have a profoundly deep relationship with Him, yet we chose not to listen to His voice nor to obey Him.
We thought we knew best and so rebelled against Him – thus sin entered the world.
We brought it in and we turned away from Him, who was life itself, and because of that death, became the normal experience of humankind.
Now God could have left us to get on with it, we wrecked the place! Yet He sent Jesus and that was why he came to earth to rescue us from sin, from death and God’s judgement.
That’s why he died on the cross, to pay the price for our sin.
Yet – amazingly – the story did not finish there, because Jesus was the son of God. His death was powerful enough to pay that price and break the power of death.
So God raised Him from the dead to live for evermore!
Now, because of this, you and I can have hope, not just at Christmas time but all year around as long as we live.
If we give our life to the Son of God, he will rescue us and give us purpose and life in abundance.