Birthdays are quaint days of paying token honor to friends and family. Celebrations happen. Thanksgivings are made. Gifts are given. Then one day later … life goes on just like before. And for many people, that’s Christmas. We reminisce about Jesus. We set aside a day to honor Him. Then we get back to our normal routine. But Christmas ought to be so much more! Christmas is cataclysmic! It’s the day when the barrier between earth and heaven began to be peeled back. It’s the day when the immortal, invisible God of the Bible took on flesh and pitched his tent among us! That’s not quaint … that’s earth-shaking. Let me remind you why, with 10 reasons God became a man:
1. So sinful men might see God. God, majestic on His throne, cannot even be approached by sinful men (much less seen by them), lest they be incinerated by His holiness. But in Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, and a group of ragamuffin shepherds laid eyes on very God of very God. And so may we. “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1.18).
2. To testify to the truth. Jesus was born to teach. The crowds were amazed as He spoke for God with authority and understandability. “For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18.37).
3. To bring grace and truth together. Truth without grace is hard. And so many legalistic people (Old Testament and New) experience the hardness of the Law without a Savior. But Jesus came, upholding the highest standards of truth … yet lavishing the greatest mercy on people who were unable to live up to them – see John 8. “The law was given through Moses…grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1.17).
4. So He might “save His people from their sins” (Matt 1.21). Sin must be punished. But God wants to set sinners free. So how will He do it? He will lay their sins on another. But who can he find who has no sins of his own to pay for? There is no one like that … unless God Himself, the only sinless one, becomes a man and dies for sins Himself!
5. To be a “light of Revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2.32). Up until that holy night in Bethlehem, God’s plan of salvation had been at work almost exclusively among the Jews. But the Babe was born to bring salvation to every tongue and tribe – and that means us!
6. So we might be God’s children. Not only does God forgive our sins and treat us as righteous. He also adopts us as His beloved children. That’s why “in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son, born of a woman … so that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal 4.4).
7. To rule the world. The lowly child in the manger came to take over this planet – and your life. “His kingdom shall have no end” (Luke 1.33)
8. To bring peace for the future. Isaiah prophesied that “every boot of the booted warrior in the battle of tumult, and cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us…” (Is 9.5-6). That baby is going to one day bring about an end to all war, famine, pain, revenge, and evil. What a day!
9. To bring peace on earth now. The angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Resting in Jesus, we have peace even now, though the world crumbles around us.
10. To prove that God does the impossible. If God can become man, and confine Himself to a teenager’s womb, surely He can meet you an your “impossible” circumstances as well! For “nothing will be possible with God” (Luke 1.26-38).