Why do we celebrate this day of the year?
What makes the birth of Jesus a reason to celebrate? In what way has everything been changed by the birth of Jesus?
Did the birth, and life of Jesus magically change the nature of people? Did it make love and kindness the overwhelming motivation of the human race?
I don’t think that anyone would answer that last question in the affirmative. Obviously, Jesus was beaten to a pulp, unrecognizable as a man, then hung on a cross with criminals worthy of death, simply because he refused to deny that he is the only begotten son of God.
There were thousands of Israelites recorded to have revered Jesus, many of them sought him out, and followed him because of his teachings, and the miracles that he performed, yet when Pontius Pilate begged them to let him pardon Jesus instead of Barabbas, many of them cried, “Crucify him.”
You may wonder why I am invoking elements of the sacrifice of Jesus on Christmas Day. It’s because without this sacrifice, and its intended purpose, (God’s intended purpose,) there is no reason to celebrate. It is simply a commemoration of the birth of one, in billions of humans. Instead, it is the birth of the only human with the ability to face every temptation without sinning. He not only lived life perfectly, always pleasing his father, God, but exhibited the compassion that only he was able to muster, he forfeited his life in payment for the transgressions of others, In fact, all others.
With that in mind, How many people did Jesus force to accept him as the redeemer? How many has he coerced to comply with the law of God? Has he taken away the ability of people to choose evil, has he taken away the “wages of sin,” for those that rebel against the law, or has he simply offered a choice that will save us from a price that we can only pay with eternal damnation? The choice is up to each, and every person. Only I can make that choice for “me,” and only you can make it for, “you.”
How does this effect the thousands of other choices that we must make in our lives? Does it direct who we trust? Who we obey, who we reject, or who we defy?
In case you don’t already know, Jesus paid the price for our sin, and the righteousness of Jesus’s gift is ours to accept, but we can only accept that gift through humility, through accepting that we are unforgivable, and in need of salvation. We can only help others to humble themselves, and accept this glorious salvation through speech, and our actions. We can only communicate this great truth verbally, and through our lives. We must allow others to accept, or reject it on their own.
Is it wise for us to ignore those that feel that they should be authorized to make choices for us? When people claim to be the experts in certain fields, and demand our compliance with their dictates, is it wise, or godly for us to comply, against our better judgement?
We are living in a particularly revealing time, and might I suggest that it is the time of God’s choosing. We face the challenges that were ordained by God Almighty. Every pressure, and pleasure that opposes our conscience was approved by our heavenly Father. We are able to make the righteous choice, if we want to.
We are surrounded by those that reject this reality. They often appeal to us with their best arguments as to why we should do as they say. If we are convinced, that’s one thing, but if we resist, they will often try to eliminate other choices by adding penalties for resistance. I wonder if there are any other tactics before the iron fist of enforcement is to be applied.
We are faced with the challenge to make our choices based on the insistence of others, or as our understanding of scripture, and our conscience, leads us.
I will leave it to each reader to consider the application of this essay, and I hope that your application brings glory to the God of all creation, and the name above all names, Jesus, the Christ.
How will you choose?
God bless you, Dave