Our savior is given to us
DEMAND AND SUPPLY - Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2018 - 12:00am

The Gospel according to St John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

This is the essence of Christmas: God has become man and came to dwell among his people. Jesus, the second person in the Holy Trinity, became fully human even as He remained fully God.

He came to us on that first Christmas to fulfill God’s promise to send a savior to give His people a path out of a sinful world that started with the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

Sin is totally distasteful with God. But God, through the prophet Isaiah, revealed this promised Savior would suffer and die, not for His own sin, but for those of the people.

That’s why Jesus came. That’s why Jesus was obedient even in the face of death, so that God’s promised plan for our salvation will happen. “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

In the Gospel according to St Matthew, an angel of the Lord appeared to St Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”

The Gospel according to St Luke recalled what happened that first Christmas:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

All these were predicted much earlier by the prophet Isaiah: Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel… The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Deep darkness is, of course, sin. Romans 5:12 described this darkness: just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.

In simple terms, every time a baby is born, the parents’ sinful nature is passed on to that baby. Even King David recognized sin’s contamination in Psalm 51:5: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”

St Paul, the great evangelist, recognized his constant battle with sin. In Romans 7:18, he wrote: “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”

The final result of sin’s contamination is death, spiritual death where a person is separated from fellowship with God.

The only way we can reconcile with God is described in Hebrews 9:22- In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Christ offered himself as a sacrificial substitute for the death our sins deserved. That’s why the angels called Him the Savior.

Christ is God. Christ became man. And He came on Christmas Day to start his 33 year mission to save us from the consequences of our sins. He gave us the way back to God, something not available to us after that first sin at the Garden.

John 3:16 sums up best why Christmas happened: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

We are all sinners and the Bible says the consequence of sin is death, eternal separation from God. There is nothing we can do to make us “good enough” for heaven.

But God made a way. Christ lived a perfect, blameless life and provided the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He died in our place… whoever believes in him shall have eternal life.

No wonder the angels were singing Joy to the World during that first Christmas.

A Merry Christmas to all our readers.

Boo Chanco’s e-mail address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @boochanco

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