December 20, 2021 — Christmas and the Cross

“Christmas is coming,” Stan said one morning, “and I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news.”

“Oh,” I replied, “one of those ‘good news, bad news’ stories. Which are you going to tell me first?”

“Which one do you want first?” he asked.

“Let’s have the good news,” I replied.

“God sent His only begotten Son into the world, born as a baby in Bethlehem, to be the Savior of the world.”

“Oh, I like that good news!” I said. “What’s the bad news?”

“Too much of the world He came to save doesn’t know or accept the true reason why He came.”

“They don’t know the ‘reason for the season,’ I replied. “Is that it?”

“Yes and no,” Stan said. “Yes, too many people don’t see Jesus as the reason for Christmas, but there’s also a ‘no’ in that the reason Jesus came goes way beyond the Christmas season.”

“Way beyond the Christmas season?” I repeated. “In what way?”

“Seems to me,” Stan replied, “that Good Friday is the real reason for the Christmas season.”

“Good Friday?” I said. “The day Jesus went to the cross? You see that as the reason for Christmas?”

“I do,” Stan said. “It seems to me that’s what the angel told Joseph about Jesus in the dream Joseph had when he found out that Mary was pregnant before they got married.”

“How so?”

“In Matthew’s gospel,” Stan replied, “it says that the angel told Joseph that Jesus was going to save His people from their sins. Although it doesn’t say that the angel mentioned it to Joseph, the cross is the way Jesus did that. He died to save us.”

“So,” I said, “the good news is that there’s a real connection between Christmas and the cross. And the bad news is that too many people don’t know.”

“You got it my friend,” Stan replied. “Let’s see if we can do something about getting rid of that bad news!”


Bible verses to consider:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly. But when he had considered that, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:18-21.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16.

When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for Christmas when we can celebrate your gift of life eternally with you through the birth of Jesus. Thank you for those who brought me to the truth of your provision of Jesus as the only way to you through the cross you had for Him. I pray for all of the people who do not know or accept the “reason for the season” as being your provision of life eternally with you when it’s time. Please help me in following every step of your lead in making known to those who do not know the truth that will set them free. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of the One you sent as a babe. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted the “reason for the season” in that you have accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him eternally when your time here is completed? If no, why? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with telling others all year long about the reason to celebrate Christmas as the birth of our Lord and Savior? What would it look like for you to do that? What would it take? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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