No informed person today will deny that the human race walks in darkness. There are dilemmas and problems that seemingly have no answer. Many competent observers despair of solving the problems of the world; they suspect that we are people who not only walk in darkness but walk in darkness to our doom.
As we come near to the Christmas season, we again hear the words the Prophet Isaiah spoke 800 years before the birth of Christ: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2).
It is the promise of the coming of Christ and the light that was to dawn upon the world. It heralds the entrance of God into human history. It is heaven descending to earth. It is as though a trumpeter had taken his stand upon the turrets of time and announced to a despairing, hopeless and frustrated world the coming of the Prince of Peace.
Glory to Men in the Highest?
For years people have been seeking to organize human life without God. They have tried to thrust Him out of the universe. Many secular critics attack evangelical Christianity. Because these modern critics find it hard to believe in God, they have transferred their faith to man. They have invented a creed that is the worship of humanity. “Glory to man in the highest” is their theme.
This worship of human nature has grown in popularity because it feeds on our own conceit. We have been told, especially in some of our classrooms, that there is no sin–that the human race simply has a bit of selfishness that time will correct. It flatters the egoism in us; it seems to make redemption unnecessary; it empties the cross of its meaning. People will grow better, we are told.
However, the failure to solve the problems of the world has shattered the hopes of many. We are more unsure of peace and have less freedom than ever before. In our brilliance without God we have become fools. We look at the world today and wonder at the incredible folly of it–the ignorant conceit, the puffed-up egoism of the human race. It is obvious that unredeemed man without the help of God will take the path of destruction, judgment and hell. We stand on the very edge of Armageddon.
The Hebrew prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel not only believed in God but also worshiped God. They believed that God could be seen in nature. They believed that He had made the world. But all through the centuries they seem to have been saying, “I wish that God would become personal.”
The Word Became Flesh
This is precisely what He did that first Christmas night. He became personal in Bethlehem. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. … No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:14, 18).
Christmas is not just a date on the calendar. It is not just another annual holiday. It is not a day just to glorify selfishness and materialism. It commemorates the day Jesus Christ was born. It is the celebration of the event that set heaven to singing, an event that gave the stars of the night sky a new brilliance.
At a specific time and at a specific place a specific Person was born and that Person was God of very God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the lips of Jesus came these words: “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Like piercing trumpets these words herald the breaking in of the Divine into human history. They declare that heaven has come to earth’s rescue and that God has not left us to stumble on earth’s pathway alone. What a wonderful and glorious hope we have because of that first Christmas!
He Came to a Troubled World
Christ came into a world that was facing problems very much like the ones we grapple with today. We often imagine that the world Jesus came to was not complicated, that its problems were not complex. But historians tell us otherwise. They tell us that the problems of that day were similar to the problems of our day.
And right into the center of this kind of life came Jesus Christ. To the restless world Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). To those who had lost the joy of living He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). To those who bore the chafing burden of the guilt of sin He said, “Be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you” (Matthew 9:2).
As Christmas approaches, despite the affluent society that surrounds us, many find life a burden. Purpose and zest have fled, hearts ache with emptiness, and even the joys of this happy season leave many lonely and wistful.
Today the Lord Jesus Christ stands at the door of your heart and knocks, saying, “If you will open that door, I will come in to you and sup with you, and you with me” (Cf. Revelation 3:20). In other words, Jesus wants to have Christmas with you.
At Christmas, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, KJV). Christmas means that Emmanuel has come–that “the people … in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:2) and that He walks with us through the shadows–it means that God is with us (Matthew 1:23). It means our sordid, failure-fraught past can be wiped out by His sacrifice on the cross and we can become members of God’s family, heirs of God and citizens of heaven. Christmas means that He comes into the night of our suffering and sorrow, saying, “I am with you. Let Me share your burdens.”
Put Your Faith in Jesus
Today, in the midst of trouble, terrorism and war, that peace can be yours–if you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He is offering to every one of us eternal life if we will put our trust and our faith in Him.
The gift of eternity can be yours now. Life everlasting begins not when you die but when you believe and put your faith in Jesus Christ. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). This is the real meaning of Christmas.
Will you accept Christ into your heart this Christmas season?