Do you ever find yourself wondering at Christmastime, “What’s it all about?” Why do I go through all of this? Why do I brave the insane crowds at the mall, or the traffic on the streets? Your schedule is so busy that there is little time to enjoy the season. There are concerts and parties and gatherings galore. Is it really worth it?
I want to affirm that there is something worth celebrating during this season. There is more to it than decorations and presents and trees. There’s certainly more than egg nog or fruitcake (that stuff is disgusting). And there is way more than Santa and Rudolph and Elves (even dancing ones) to get excited about at this time of the year. There is something that matters, that is worth celebrating.
We have made Christmas about so many things – things that do not really matter in the eternal scheme of things. In the process, we often ignore the one thing that really matters – not a thing, a person. It’s about a person, a baby born who grew to be a man and changed everything. And it’s not just Christmas that is about him. Life is about him. Eternity is about him. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever.” Whether you know it or not, your existence comes from him, exists by his grace and is designed for his glory.
And the Bible is all about him as well. Here is the question. If life is about him and eternity is about him and all of the Bible is about him, then why do we live our lives as if there are many other things that really matter? Why do we act like money matters, when all of life is about him? Why do we buy into the deceptiveness of the pleasures of this world – as if they had inherent value? It’s all about him. It’s not about you, he is all in all!
He is found on every page of the Bible. There are moments where he leaps off the page clearly. Other times, he is hidden behind characters or symbols which foreshadow the revelation of all that he is. But he is there in every book, on every page.
He is there in Genesis, the seed of the woman whose heel would be struck by the serpent, but who would crush the serpent’s head. The first prophecy of him foretells his ultimate victory over all his enemies.
He is there in Exodus where he is our Passover Lamb, on whom all the sins of the world for all time would be laid. He is our Manna, the bread of life, the Rock, struck once from whom streams of living water would flow to all who believe in him.
He is hidden there in the pages of Leviticus; our great high priest who will make intervention for us with God.
Look for him in Numbers and you will find the star that will rise out of Judah to rule over Israel
In Deuteronomy, he is a deliverer like Moses who would speak the Word of God and deliver Israel from its bondage.
He is there in Joshua; the Captain of Our Salvation
In Judges, he is our perfect Judge, who will lead us into perfect fellowship with God
In Ruth, he is our kinsman redeemer
In the books of history, you have to look more carefully to find him, hidden behind illustrations and symbols, but, present nonetheless.
In 1&2 Samuel, he is a prophet like Samuel, who speaks God’s truth and leads us back to God.
In 1&2 Kings he is one who would fulfill the line of David.
In 1&2 Chronicles, he is the glory of God who came down to fill the tabernacle, as he would one day tabernacle among us.
In Esther, we see him in faithful Mordecai.
In Ezra, we see him in Zerubbabel, rebuilding the temple, restoring what sin has torn down.
In Nehemiah, we see him as our protector, the one who builds God’s wall of righteousness around us.
Like Job, we know that our Redeemer lives and that in the end, he will stand upon the earth.
In Psalms, he is on every page. He is our shepherd who leads us beside the still waters. He is the cornerstone that the builders rejected. He would be hated without cause, despised and crucified, risen and seated at the right hand of God.
He is there in Proverbs; the wisdom of god.
In Ecclesiastes, he is the only one who can bring meaning to the meaningless world.
In the Song of Songs, he is the ultimate bridegroom, who loves the church.
In Isaiah, he is born of a virgin, but destined to hold the government of all the world upon his shoulders. He is Immanuel, God with us. He is our Wonderful counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father and Our prince of Peace. He would be despised by his own people and become a light to the nations. He would be beaten beyond human recognition and die as the suffering servant. He would be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. The chastisement that brought us peace would be upon him and by his stripes we are healed. The Lord would lay on him the iniquity of us all.
In Jeremiah he is the Righteous branch who will reign as king and execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In Lamentations, he is the judge of all sin who weeps over the effects of that judgment.
In Ezekiel, he is the shepherd in the line of David who will feed the sheep and watch over them.
In Daniel, he is the fourth man in the fiery furnace, the one who will always be there when the fires of suffering burn at your life.
In Hosea, he is the faithful bridegroom who restores his adulterous bride in his amazing grace and love.
In Joel, he is the one who would baptize his people with the Holy Spirit to initiate a new covenant.
In Amos, he is the plumb line against which our lives are judged
In Obadiah, the nations fear the Day of the Lord when He will rule on Mt. Zion and the kingdom shall belong to Yahweh.
In Jonah, he is the merciful God who restores the one who wanders from him, and the savior who would spend three days and nights in the grave for us.
In Micah, he is the ruler to be born in Bethlehem.
In Nahum, he avenges the people of God
In Habakkuk, the Lord is in his holy temple, and all the earth must be silent before him.
In Zephaniah, he is the restorer of his people.
In Haggai, he blesses God’s defiled people who return to him.
In Zechariah, he is the priest, the king who would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, would be pierced by evil men for our sins.
And in Malachi, he would be the Son of Righteousness, risen with healing in his wings.
Yes, he is the reason we celebrate Christmas, the reason for all of life. He is found hidden in the symbols, figures and workings of the Old Testament system, But now its time to look at the New Testament. The Old Testament was the foundation. The New Testament is the fulfillment. When we come to these pages, he is no longer hidden in symbols. He is revealed for who he really is. He is all in all.
In Matthew, he is the Messiah, the Son of David, the king of the Jews.
In Mark, he is the Holy One of God, the Son of God himself.
In Luke he is the Son of Man, our Horn of Salvation, the consolation of Israel.
And then, we come to John. In John, he is the unique son of God, the bread of life, the light of the World, the great I AM, the good shepherd and the door of the sheep. He is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and he is the True Vine, the only way any of us can experience the life of God.
He is, in Acts, the Risen and living Lord to whom every man must answer.
In Romans, well, its hard not to simply copy the entire book. In Romans, he is the one who justifies. He demonstrated the love of God by dying for sinners. He is the hope for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.
In 1 Corinthians, he is the firstfruits of the resurrection.
In 2 Corinthians, he leads us in triumphal procession and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
In Galatians, he sets us free from the bondage of sin and the death of the law.
In Ephesians, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in him.
In Philippians, he is the name above all names, the name at which every knee will bow and every tongue confess.
In Colossians, all the fullness of the godhead dwells in him. He is the image of the invisible God, the head of the Body, and our only hope of glory.
In 1 Thessalonians, we wait for the day the trumpet sounds and Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout, raising the dead in Christ then gathering living Christians in a great reunion.
In 2 Thessalonians, he will crush all the works of Satan and rule over this world.
In 1 Timothy, he is the one who came to save sinners like you and me.
In 2 Timothy, he will rescue us from every evil deed and bring us safely into his heavenly kingdom.
In Titus, he is our blessed hope.
In Philemon, a faithful friend.
In Hebrews, he is the author and finisher of our faith, our faithful high priest who offered himself as the sacrifice of our sins, the one whose blood once and for all washed away our sins.
In James, he is the Lord of glory, the judge who stands at the door, just waiting for that perfect moment in God’s timing.
In 1 Peter he is a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen and precious in the sight of God.
In 2 Peter, his divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
In 1 John, he who has the son has life.
In 2 John, he is the truth who abides in us.
In 3 John he is the one who prospers our souls.
In Jude, he comes with myriads of his saints to execute judgment against the ungodly.
And in Revelation, that is where he really shines, fully revealed in all his glory.
In Revelation, he is the son of man with a white robe and a golden sash – his eyes like blazing fire, his feet like burnished bronze and his voice like the roar of many waters. His face shines like the sun and from his mouth comes a powerful two-edged sword. He is among the lampstands, the churches and he reveals himself to them.
To the church at Ephesus, which had lost its passion, he was present in the church, always there, always ready to work in and through his people if they repent and return.
To the suffering church of Smyrna, he was the resurrected Lord, who had been through the worst that Satan could offer and had overcome all.
To the doctrinally divided church of Pergamum he was held a sharp two-edged sword, the truth of God’s word is what corrects error.
To the morally compromised church of Thyatira, he was the refining fire that would purify them.
To the pretenders at Sardis, who appeared to be what they were not, he held the Spirit of God to transform them from the inside out and to make them what they pretended to be.
To the struggling church of Philadelphia he promised to open doors no one could close and close doors no one could open.
And to lukewarm Laodicea, he stood at the door and knocked, the living, faithful and true witness who promised to do the mighty work of God among them.
He’s all we need, my friends.
He is the Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world the only one worthy to open the scroll and pour out the judgment, of God on the world. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
One day he will ride out of glory with the armies of heaven trailing after him. With the sword that comes from his mouth he will strike down the nations that stand against him. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God and this name is found to be written on him. “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
His name is Jesus and HE is what it’s all about. Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the only thing really worth celebrating this Christmas season.
Why would you focus on a Fat Guy in a red suit when you can worship the King of Kings? He is the king of the whole world and he doesn’t need Rudolph’s help getting around it. He doesn’t climb down chimneys but he offers the greatest gift that any of us could ever hope for. He offers us life. Forgiveness. Hope – real hope, not a politician’s empty promise. You don’t need alcohol to celebrate his joy. You don’t need mistletoe to experience his love. He’s not magic, he’s not myth – he’s the Lord of All and the source of life. And he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!
Every aspect of the Christmas story is about him.
Announcement to Mary
It all began when the angel appeared to Mary and told her all about him. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
He was the son of God sent into this world to accomplish the purposes of God, to be Lord. Don’t fall into the mistake that many people make in the celebration of Christmas and the study of the life of Jesus. Yes, he was a cute little baby in his mother’s armz and the shepherds came and the Magi travelled from afar to worship him. He was an adorable little boy. And he grew to be a man who came to seek and to save the lost, to be the servant of all.
But make no mistake, my friend. Jesus also came to rule. He is the rightful Lord, the ruler of all that is. He is your Lord, your boss. You have no right to live your life for yourself. You have no right to do as you please. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and he has every right to demand that you give your life to him.
Angel Announces to the Shepherds
The night Jesus was born, an Angel appeared to shepherds on the hillside near Bethlehem, and told them a little more about who Jesus was.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
Jesus came to be Lord of all. But to those who turn from their sins and acknowledge Jesus as Lord, he is also a Savior.
You and I have a problem. We are sinners. No big deal, right? We’re all sinners, no one is perfect, right? Wrong! Big Deal! All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but do not let the commonness of sin deceive you. The wages of sin is death. Because you are a sinner and I am a sinner, we are separated from God by our sins.
And there is no hope in anyone but the baby that was born in Bethlehem, the Savior of the world. He saves sinners from their sins.
The Angels Rejoice
That angel spoke the glorious message of the saving grace of Jesus Christ to shepherds on the hillside. Then, suddenly, a party broke out. The angels of heaven could contain their glee no longer and they burst forth to shout, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)
Those who give glory to God find that they can experience the peace of God. Hell-deserving sinners such as you and me, people whose sin have separated them from God can experience the great grace and wonder of a relationship with God, of the presence and power of God in their lives. When Jesus rules your heart, and you trust him as your Savior, the glory and peace of God becomes a reality in your life!
It does not come through religion. It does not come through good works. It does not come through human power, goodness or personality. It comes through Jesus. He is our all in all.
He was sent from heaven to be born of a virgin. Born in righteousness and purity he lived every moment of his life for the glory and honor of God. He obeyed the Father in everything, earning righteousness, earning heaven, earning the favor of God. At the end of his life, not owing God a death, he instead made a deal. He said I will take the sins of the world on myself and suffer the eternal wrath of God for them. He was nailed to the cross by cruel nails, but it was not the nails that held him to that cross, it was his determination to fulfill the plan of God and to redeem sinners from hell. He died, and rose again as the victorious conqueror of death and hell. Those who turn from their sins in repentance and trust in him will receive forgiveness and be made perfectly righteous in Christ.
His name is Jesus. He is the Lord of all. He is the Savior of all who trust in Him. He is the glory of God and the Prince of Peace.
Please don’t celebrate Christmas. Celebrate Christ!