Magnificent Love, Marvelous Light and Majestic Life.
“What is Christmas?” Is it all about Santa Claus, Cakes, Stars, Trees, Balloons, Nativity scene, Greeting Cards…? The celebration of Christmas around the world has become tradition in the popular culture and ritual in most churches. The significance of Christmas is lost in maze of fun, feast and entertainment.
Christmas is the celebration of the historical fact that God intervened in history of humanity to bring salvation and redemption. For that purpose Lord Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, a small town in the nation of Israel. Christmas celebration could be meaningful only when the reason for His coming is understood, appreciated and appropriated.
Three words that grasps the essence of Christmas helps us to really gain spiritual insight into that glorious event and its impact on each one of us. They are love, light and life.
- Magnificent Love
The Christmas is the manifestation of God’s magnificent love to humanity. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16) God’s love was enormous and beyond human comprehension that he could send His Son Lord Jesus Christ to be born in the world in an ordinary environment. Lord Jesus Christ identified with the poorest of the poor that there was no place in the inn (hotel or hospital) that he was born in a stable. Of course, the world needs a ‘Stable” influence, impact and empowerment. The Christmas narrative is that God demonstrated, revealed, unveliled and disclosed his unconditional love by sending His Son to die for the sins of humanity and rise from the death. It is impossible for any parent to let his/her child die. Knowing about the danger outside, no father would send his son out of his sight. Lord Jesus Christ came into the world of danger, misery and injustice, where he would be killed by the sinful men, who are his creation.
God so loved the world populated with sinful people who could be described as ‘godless’, ‘sinners’, ‘rebels’, ‘disobedient’ and ‘children of wrath’. (Romans 5) Lord Jesus Christ loved the sinful humanity, and volunteered to take the punishment, curse and destiny of sinner i.e. death. “Wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
God did not send an angel to atone for death. An alien person or robot was not parachuted into the earth for the atonement of sin. God sent his Son Lord Jesus Christ to completely identify with humanity and so he was born as a child. He grew up in an ordinary town of Nazareth, died on the cross in Jerusalem and rose again to demonstrate God’s love, and power to humanity. Lord Jesus Christ was born to die, rise again and ascend to heaven so that he could bring salvation to humanity.
- Marvelous Light
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1:9) The first Christmas brought Light to humanity. Apostle John states that Lord Jesus Christ is the true light. It is obvious that the world has plunged into spiritual darkness because of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The first couple’s disobedience, rebellion and belief in a lie brought misery to humanity. Light is necessary to enlighten each and every person in the world. God by sending his Son Lord Jesus Christ sent light to the world. Lord Jesus Christ said: Ï am the light of the world. (John 8:12) Simeon looking at the new born child Lord Jesus Christ said: “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel”.”(Luke 2:32)
This light dispels darkness of sin, curse, and injustice in the world. If a torch light is beamed under rocks, the insects like scorpion would scurry away. In the same way, when Light of the world shines in our hearts, minds and soul, the sinful desires would be exposed and expelled. Whoever welcomes this light will be wise, enlightened and walk in the light. If not, they will continue to grope in the dark and even fall and hurt themselves.
The condition of humans is so pathetic that they are unable to recognize the great light. In darkness, if a candle light is lighted, all could recognize the light. However, in the world plunged in spiritual darkness could not recognize the Great light. Hence, God in his mercy sent John the Baptist to bear witness for the light or to state: “This is the Light” (John 1:7) Today, the disciples of Lord Jesus Christ are called to be witness, by letting know the world that Lord Jesus is the Light of the World. Therefore, the believers of Lord Jesus Christ are called the Children of Light (Ephesians 5:8 and I Thessalonians 5:5)and given mandate to be light of the world. (Matthew 5:14-16)
- Majestic Life
Light naturally brings Life. Lord Jesus Christ said: “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Of course, all living humans have physical life. However, Lord Jesus came to give eternal life of holiness, quality and that to live in His presence forever. Humans are not just destined to live in this material world, die and perish. They are designed to live forever. However, each person has right and authority to decide the kind of life, s/he would like to have after death. The Eternal life is a free gift to those who come to Lord Jesus Christ. After death, a disciple of Lord Jesus Christ will step into the dwelling place of God, the Heaven, where a place is prepared (John 14:1-3) for him/her to live forever. Others who refuse to come to light or embrace the light would be eternally separated from God which is called as second death or spiritual death.
Life after death is not just changing into another species on this planet earth. Salvation is not getting immersed into ultimate reality and losing one’s identity. Bible states that salvation is forgiveness of sins through Lord Jesus Christ, and eternal life as citizens of Kingdom of God. For a disciple of Lord Jesus Christ, death is just transition from the worldly life to heavenly life.
Christmas is a time of reflection. Why did God take all pains and efforts to send His Son Lord Jesus Christ into this world? What response does he expect from each one of us? Christmas is Love of God demonstrated, Light of God shines in the world and Life eternal gifted to all those who believe in Him. Have we experienced that Magnificent Love, Marvelous Light and Majestic life? This Christmas gives us one more opportunity to experience these.