In the popular cartoon story Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), we see a great lesson about the purpose of Christmas.  We often see this old cartoon played at Christmastime as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – the Messiah.  In one climatic scene, the cartoon depicts Charlie Brown going out to find a Christmas tree for their play, that he and his group of friends would perform on stage, only to be laughed to scorn for the one he chose.  After being frustrated with the whole scene, he exclaimed loudly, “Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?”  At that very moment, Linus, with his blanket in hand, took center stage in the empty theatre and quoted Luke 2 by memory.  He then went over to Charlie Brown and said, “That’s what Christmas is about Charlie Brown.”

The fact is, we all lose sight of what Christmas is about.  It’s turned into a commercialized event for retailers to make money.  The vicious cycle of gift buying and exchange can be tiresome and unfulfilling at times.  It’s important to remember that Christmas is about the gift of peace.  Other gifts will not provide what God’s gift to a broken, bankrupt, fallen, spiritually destitute, and depraved race of sinners provides.  God’s gift of His Son was the gift of peace.  Consider the words from Luke 2:1-20 and focus in on verses 13-14.

Luke 2:13-14 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, [14] “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

One angel quickly turned into a multitude of angels that appeared like a bright curtain of angelic beings that spanned the horizon of the nigh’s sky.  They were praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”  You may recall that Linus from the Charlie Brown movie quoted the King James, “peace and goodwill toward men.”  A more accurate translation is focused on the fact that peace comes to those with whom God is pleased.  In other words, just because God’s Son has been born doesn’t mean that the entire race of humanity is at peace with God.

We are born in a sinful state of rebellion against God (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23).  Sin entered the world through the first Adam and from that point forward, we have all been born into sin – with a heart of rebellion (Romans 5:10).  Because of our rebellion, like Mary sang as the Christ child was in her womb, we all need a Savior (Luke 1:46-47).  So, how is Christmas about the gift of peace?

God Sent His Son to Die for Sinners

The announcement of the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb by the angel to Joseph clearly points to the purpose of Jesus’ birth.  Jesus came to save sinners from their sin (Matthew 1:21).  We must see that from the beginning, Jesus’ birth is connected with Jesus’ death.  He was born to die a sacrificial death – to accomplish a work that no other human could ever accomplish (Psalm 24).  Jesus, as fully God and fully man laid down His life and was crushed under the wrath of the Father for guilty sinners (Isaiah 53:10).

God Provides Peace Through Jesus Christ’s Work on the Cross

Long before Jesus was born, He was called the “Prince of peace” by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6).  Jesus came to provide peace between God and sinners.  The only means whereby God will be pleased with guilty sinners, is through the sacrifice of His Son (1 John 2:1-2).  Therefore, if anyone will confess their sins to God (repent), believe that Jesus died for them on the cross (have faith in God), the Bible says that person will be saved.  In short, this means the sinner who was at war with God in the rebellion of sin will now be at peace with God.

Romans 5:1 -Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:19-22 – For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. [21] And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, [22] he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.

As you consider the purpose of Christmas, ask yourself this important question – Do I have peace with God?  That’s what Christmas is all about – the celebration of hope and the fullness of genuine peace with God.  Peace as the world gives is merely the absence of trouble.  The peace of God is not contingent upon the circumstances of life (John 14:27).  We have a peace that passes all understanding in Christ (Philippians 4:7).  Therefore, in all trials and tribulations of this life, we can rest assured that we have peace with God – even if we don’t have peace on earth.  Charles Wesley, in his famous hymn, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, penned these words:

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”