Christmas is the time when we remember that God took on Himself human flesh and dwelt among us. The primary focus of Christ’s coming was to die, but too often we skip from birth to death with Jesus.
Take, for instance, the Apostle’s Creed. Mark the words:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried
Notice anything about the life of Christ according to the Apostle’s Creed? He was born and then boom, there He is suffering before Pilate as if nothing else happened. As if none of His life has any import at all whatsoever.
Which begs the question, why do the Gospels contain so much other information about Him? Mark and John even skip right over Christ’s birth. Why do we make so much over the beginning and the end and drop the middle?
Christ tells us why He came, why we have all that other information about Him:
*”I came not to send peace, but a sword.”
*”I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
*”I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
*”I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
Jesus Christ came and lived to show us what it was like to obey the Father’s will, to give your life for others, to demonstrate the cost involved in truly doing God’s will.
We skip this part because it hurts. We don’t mind Christ being hurt for our sins, but us getting hurt? We’d rather not.
Christ came to be an example that we should follow His steps. Paul says to follow him as he follows Christ. We are to be built up into Christ with His mind dwelling in us. Hard to do that if you don’t know where He went or what He thought.
There are many reasons why Christ came. Ultimately it was for salvation to be offered to the whole world. But Christ also demonstrates how to live post-salvation.
Our fixation on the act of salvation far overshadows the life of salvation and I believe this distorts our view of the life of Christ. Celebrate the whole thing, not just the part where He’s a helpless baby or a helpless one being crucified.