Dear members and friends of VP,
December is the month for remembering why Jesus was born. On December 25th we celebrate the most significant event in history as Jesus entered the world as a human being committed to healing creation.
Understanding “why” Jesus was born involves understanding the desperate nature of the human condition and the need for divine intervention in order to address it. The better we understand the inability of human beings to heal our problems, the more we will celebrate what Jesus came to accomplish. God has told us His plans to restore the good He created at the beginning of time. Jesus is the one entrusted with the authority to get the job done.
The human condition should be the central concern of every person who thoughtfully considers the future. We should be concerned for people who do evil, wars between countries, ethnic tension and hostility. We should be discouraged by every report of someone who fights for victory over disease or suffers simply because of the lack of food or medical help. We should ache for the number of people who are abused or suffering because of psychological challenges. All around us we see evidence of a creation that is damaged and the suffering of the innocent.
The Bible offers a similar picture. Genesis 6:5 states “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the
While it is certainly true that there are good people who do many good things, we do not hear as much about the good they do as we do about the horrendous things people do. The majority of reporting in the news is discouraging both locally and internationally. There is growing evidence of the fact that people are losing a moral compass as the expressed will of God loses value. Indeed, more and more people are saying “There is no God,” or, at least, “I believe I know better than God.”
The truth is, humanity needs help! The world needs someone with power and authority to help us find our way toward a brighter and healthier future. Thus, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus because He is the only person in history who can help us find our way. He is the Messiah promised centuries before He was born, to establish peace on earth by healing man and creation. I want to abbreviate an important prophecy in the Old Testament that predicts the coming of the Messiah.
“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him… He will decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; … with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked… the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”Isaiah 11:1-10
Both Jews and Christians recognize this passage as referencing the Messiah and what He will do. In fact, the name “Christ” is a Greek translation of the Hebrew term “Messiah.” In its
Jews and Christians actually disagree in regard to Jesus being the Messiah. The Jews believe that if Jesus was the Messiah, He would have established peace on earth during His life and would not have died. Christians, however, believe He had another mission to accomplish before establishing peace on earth. That mission was to die a substitutionary death so that people would have forgiveness of sins. Cleansing people from sin was
• Jesus said He was the Messiah. John 4:25-26; Matthew 16:15-17
• Jesus said He came the first time to give His life for others. Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45
• Jesus said His death was for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:27-29
• Prophecy confirms someone needed to die for sins. Psalm 22; Isaiah 52:13-53:12
• Jesus said that though He would die, He would conquer death. Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20:19; John 2:19-22
• Jesus proved He could conquer death by rising from the dead. Luke 24:36-49
• Jesus said He would return to establish the Kingdom of God as was expected of the Messiah. Matthew 16:27; 19:28; 24:27-30
The assertions of Jesus with both prophetic and historical confirmation represent a convincing argument that Jesus is the Messiah. As such, the Christian hope and belief is that Jesus has proved Himself able to establish the Kingdom of God on earth where all of creation will be healed, and there will be peace on earth.
For this reason, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Because all of these truths together support and substantiate our reason for having hope for the future. We are not discouraged by the many things we see in this world