We can celebrate the coming of Jesus, because in him alone we find the light that frees us from the darkness of sin. We find the light that breaks into the darkness of our lives and hearts, changing and drawing us out of darkness into a relationship with the Light Giver.
The Christmas season is a time when we often celebrate family, friends, joy, life, and all the good things we have. There is much for which to be thankful, and appreciation and enjoyment of these things is good. Yet, it is also easy to forget that Jesus came into the world without many of these things.
Jesus was not born into a festive family home ablaze with lights, the aromas of good food, and the joyful sounds of music and festivities. The buildup to his birth didn’t include lights, caroling, or cookie parties. Rather, Jesus came into the world where animals were kept. His earthly father was a carpenter; his mother was a young girl—one who was suspected of having sexual relations before marriage, and not with her husband to be. His first visitors were lowly shepherds and Eastern wise men. And yet, despite the differences, here are three reasons why it is perfectly fitting for us to celebrate Jesus’ birth joyously with overflowing hearts of gratitude:
1. Jesus takes our place before God’s judgment seat.
We all hate being judged by others, especially when our faults, sins, and transgressions are pointed out and we will suffer some hard consequence. Imagine a courtroom setting where God as the judge is passing just judgement on your sins. God is perfectly righteous, good, and just—and we are not. In fact, sin pervades even the nicest things we try to do.
Because God is just he must judge sinners. For our sin we must suffer eternal separation from the goodness of God and only experience his wrath against sin. This is our just condemnation if we try to stand alone and on our own merits before God.
Yet, God is also good, merciful, loving, and kind, and he promised a Savior who would willingly suffer for us in our stead. The righteous Judge sent his only begotten Son to take the punishment that we deserved, so that we could have forgiveness of our sins and a righteous standing before the good Judge.
Jesus willingly undertook this sacrifice because of his love for his Father and his love for us. Thus, we should rejoice exceedingly because the birth of Jesus was a major step toward God’s fulfillment of his promise to send a Savior who would take our place of judgment and give us the righteousness we need to stand blameless before the God of the universe.