We hear that cry everywhere we go. “Merry Christmas to you!? At least we hear it unless the speaker doesn’t want to acknowledge Christmas in which case it is “Happy Holidays”. That seems to cover the waterfront of celebrations at this time of year.
Then we also hear the phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. We see it on greeting cards, plaques, china, even coffee mugs at Cracker Barrel.
I certainly agree that Jesus came to earth as a baby born to a Virgin, although whether it was December 25 is somewhat in doubt. I am glad that the phrase at least indicates that we are celebrating Christmas because our Savior came, and if it encourages people to think about our Lord’s birth then I am glad for it.
But is He really the reason for the season? In a blog post by Jill McIlreavy on her website Mustard Seed Blog entitled “Jesus is NOT the Reason for the Season” she argues that the phrase is theologically wrong – WE are the reason for the season. [You can find her blog at https://mustardseedblogs.com and I encourage you to read her post that gives her thoughts about this phrase.]
You see, Jesus did not leave His home in heaven because He wanted to visit our planet, or because He wanted to take a “road trip” or because He wanted to see how the “other half” lived!
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
He left glory to come to this earth in humiliation: born of woman, in a cattle shed, with no clothing other than rags. The manger became a king-sized bed as it was where the King of Kings was laid.
Think about it – the One who was coexistent with God the Father from all eternity, even before the world was created and before His plan for mankind was put in place, the Creator of the world and everything in it had absolutely nothing upon His birth. The One who could call legions of angels to do His bidding had nothing but a mother and stepfather as the Babe was surrounded by farm animals.
Why would He do such a thing? Why would He suffer such indignities as these? He was despised by those in power from the moment He arrived. Then after three years of declaring His message, He was rejected by the very people He came to save. He was betrayed and belittled; He was mocked and beaten; He was crucified. He voluntarily died a death so horrible that only one of His followers remained with Him. Why would He do that?
Because God loved YOU and ME.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
He came so that WE could come to God in repentance and humility, so that WE could hear the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts and pointing us to Him, so that WE could receive forgiveness of our sins. He knew what awaited Him on earth … He willingly went through agony because of God’s love for us!
He came because of us – WE are the reason for the season.
Father, I thank You and praise Your holy name for sending Your Son from heaven and for His obedience in coming to this planet to live a sinless life that we could not live and for dying a death that we deserved but which He did not, all so that we could be forgiven of our sins and have a life here and forevermore with Him in heaven.