Thursday, December 15, 2016

God's Purpose in Christmas

Jesus said, "For this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name." - John 12:27-28
Christmas time conjures up so many sentimental images and memories in our minds. A large family meal, red and green sweaters with little white snowflakes on them, and the family gathered in the living room to hear the Christmas story in Scripture. We hear of angels filling the sky singing to God’s glory. God is glorified in sending His Son Jesus into our world as an infant in humble settings on earth.

Jesus came to earth as an infant for God’s glorious purpose. Jesus explains in John 12 that His coming suffering and execution makes God look great: “Father, glorify Your name.” God is glorified in Jesus obeying God’s purpose in sending His Son into the world.

For what purpose did God send Jesus to suffer and die? How did this make God look great?
The Apostle Paul knew our heavenly Father’s purpose to send His Son: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” God is glorified, as the hymn “To God be the Glory” says, in Jesus saving “even the vilest offender.”

Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, glorified God. Jesus was born for the purpose of the hour of His suffering and death to save sinners. God displays His greatness in saving sinners through Jesus, and by faith in Jesus we receive His peace on earth and goodwill; divine joy forevermore as children in God’s family.

So, as we gather with our families this Christmas, let us remember the purpose of Jesus’ birth: to glorify God by His suffering and death to save sinners that we receive the fullness of joy in God’s family, and life everlasting as Jesus defeated death by His resurrection. Just as the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!”
Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending Jesus into our world, to bear our guilt and sin to the cross, to die our death. What glorious purpose, and what joy we receive in Your salvation! Glorify Your name in us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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