A Christmas reflection: Nine reasons why Christ came to this world
Tis the season to be jolly! At least that’s what commercial Christmas is about: Shopping, exchanging gifts and dining in fine restaurants.
Amid this celebratory mood, it’s easy to forget the meaning behind this year-end celebration—to honour the coming of Christ to the world.
Let’s pause a few minutes to consider this: What made Jesus leave the comfort and security of heaven to come to earth as a man with his inherent weaknesses and limitations?
Here are NINE reasons for Jesus’ coming to this world:
To reconcile us to God
Christ is the sacrificial Lamb of God. He came to die on the cross, bearing the punishment for our sins. Sin had caused man to be separated from God. But when we believe that He died for our sins, we receive God’s forgiveness and, therefore, become reconciled to God.
Thus, the main purpose of Christ’s coming is to save man from sin, restore the broken relationship between God and man and enable him to get to heaven (salvation) one day when he expires.
- “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 shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
- “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10).
- “God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Since Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, sinners should respond quickly with joyful repentance.
To establish God’s kingdom
While Christ was on earth, He proclaimed: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Thus, the gospel (good news) is not just about saving man from sin. There is a much bigger purpose—establishing God’s kingdom.
What is God’s kingdom? It is the realm where God’s authority and dominion reside, both a present and future reality.
God’s kingdom is a present reality in that it exists within the hearts of born-again believers (Luke 17:21).
But God’s kingdom is also a future reality. This will be fulfilled when the Holy City descends from heaven; God will dwell with His people there (Revelation 21:2-3). Christ will literally reign for 1000 years on earth.
To empower us to live righteously
When we believe in Christ, the Holy Spirit who indwells us empowers us to overcome sin. It all begins when believers become identified with Christ’s death. Our old self was crucified with Christ so that we are no longer enslaved to sin (Romans 6:6).
We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh (Romans 8:12). For the law of the Spirit of life has set us free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
As we die to self, walk in the Spirit, seek God in prayer, and fellowship with other believers, we will be strengthened from within to overcome sin (Luke 9: 23, Galatians 5:16, Matthew 26:41, 2 Timothy 2:22).
To show us how to serve in humility, power and love
In the last Passover meal He shared with His disciples, Jesus arose and washed their feet. By this humble act, a lowly task performed by servants for visitors, Jesus showed us how we should serve each other (John 13:1-5).
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Christ also demonstrated how he ministered to people with love and power. Love alone without power is futile; power without love is just a show.
Love: When Christ moved on this earth, He had compassion on the multitudes and healed them (Matthew 14:14).
Power: God anointed Christ with the Holy Spirit’s power as He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).
To give us purpose and meaning in life
Is life meant to be something like this? Go to school, work hard, enter university, work hard, get a degree, secure a good job, buy a house and a car, get married, have children, then grandchildren, get to play with them and then watch TV on our rocking chair the rest of our lives till we die?
No, Christ came to inject meaning and purpose into our lives. He came that we may have life, and that we may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). He introduced His disciples to a different kind of “food”, which is the will of God—that which He was sent to accomplish (John 4: 32-34).
More than food and material riches, which man hankers after, Christ promised a different kind of satisfaction and fulfillment that the world cannot match—and, in the hereafter, eternal life and rewards for good works. He told the Samaritan woman at the well that He offers living water which truly satisfies; whoever drinks of it will never thirst (John 4: 13-14).
Love and forgiveness towards others
Jesus taught us that it is important to set our relationship with others aright once we are reconciled to God.
In The Lord’s Prayer, He made it clear that before we can receive God’s forgiveness, we need to forgive others (Matthew 6:12). We are to constantly forgive others, even seventy times seven times. Since there is no limit to God’s forgiveness, we should not place a limit to forgiveness in inter-personal relationships (Matthew 18:22).
In fact, Jesus taught that love should be the hallmark of His followers: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
To destroy the works of the devil
The battle between good and evil not only exists in the galaxies in “Star Wars” but also in the spiritual realm. From Genesis to Revelation, spiritual warfare is evident.
It does not get any clearer than this: “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b).
By defying death, through His resurrection, Christ “disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities”. He “shamed them publicly” by His victory over them at the cross (Colossians 2:15).
Believers, now seated in the heavenly places next to Christ, rest in an exalted position over the principalities and powers (Ephesians 2:6). The battle has already been won. Our task is to have faith and enforce the victory that Christ has achieved for us at the cross (Ephesians 6:10-11).
To overcome the fear of death
Christ came that He might free those who through fear of death were subject to life-long slavery (Hebrews 2:15).
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). Can we think of any other promise that offers greater hope to a man when he passes through the valley of death?
The resurrection of Jesus is the epitome of hope. There is life after death for believers—everlasting life in heaven. Just as Jesus’ death is not final, physical death is not final for those who believe in Him.
To restore what was lost in Creation
In the creation account, God instructed Adam and Eve to tend the fruitful Garden of Eden. However, beguiled by Satan, they fell into sin. Among the consequences of the Fall, man would need to toil to earn a living and he will die one day.
But the consolation is that Christ will come one day to undo the works of Satan. Christ, the seed of woman, born of a virgin, will ultimately defeat Satan on the cross (by His resurrection from the dead) though Satan bruised the heel of Christ, causing His death.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.”
One day, the likes of the paradise that existed in the Garden of Eden will be restored. When God establishes the new heaven and new earth, with gates made of pearls and streets of gold, a state of glorious perfection will once again become a reality.
To recapitulate, what is the main reason why Christ came into this world? He wants to draw us into an everlasting relationship with God, one that transcends our earthly life into eternity.
Christmas is about Jesus who came down to earth 2000 years ago to die for man’s sins. Jesus is God but He stooped low to take the form of man. Furthermore, He willingly subjected Himself to flogging, and the humiliation and excruciating pain of being hung on the cross.
In doing so, He paved the way for man to be forgiven and be reconciled to God. Now those who believe in His sacrificial death on the cross can enter into a personal relationship with God. He is ever ready to forgive us our sins if we believe in Him.
And for those who already have Christ in our hearts, this season is an opportune time to pause and reflect as to whether we harbour any unforgiveness or resentment against anyone. Inasmuch as God has forgiven us, we too need to forgive; so make decisive steps to be reconciled to our friends or family members. For bitterness, if left unchecked, will destroy us more than the ones with whom we have issues.
As the lyrics of “Christmas isn’t Christmas” tell us:
“Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart
Somewhere deep inside you
Is where Christmas really starts
So give your heart to Jesus,
you’ll discover when you do
That it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you.”
Christmas Isn’t Christmas (Till It Happens In Your Heart)
As we reflect on the various characters in the birth narrative of Jesus, we rediscover the meaning of Christmas.
Time and again God had been speaking to Francis that He wanted him to be a preacher. But he created all sorts of excuses. He thought, “Why can’t I be a successful businessman and then donate generously to missions?”
Can joy come out of giving? Wouldn’t it be better to be on the receiving end instead?
Jesus sacrificed His own life that those who believe in Him might live eternally.
Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift.
Now the One who gave us the greatest gift of all inspires us to give.
Note: Dr Lim Poh Ann is a medical practitioner. He was the former editor of Asian Beacon magazine (Dec 2008 – Oct 2011). He can be reached at his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/AskDrLi
SOURCE OF ARTICLE: http://limpohann.blogspot.my/2017/12/why-did-jesus-come.html
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Dr Lim Poh Ann