During the Christmas season, we all hear sermons that point to the purpose of Jesus’ birth. When we consider the fact that “Very God of Very God” came from the throne of glory to a sin cursed earth – it boggles our mind. To think that God was mindful of sinful man when He could have left all of humanity in our sin, it humbles us (Psalm 8:4). Why was Jesus born? The fact is, He was born to die, to save, and to destroy.
Jesus was born in order that He would die as a man on behalf of sinful humans. The cross of Christ was not an accident. Although it was a crime, it was not something that caught God off guard. It was murder, but it was the plan of God. It was sinful men acting freely in their choices of sin, but it was the sovereign plan of God as He controlled the affairs of mankind through His powers of providence. Peter calls the death of Christ “definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). Jesus was not born to be adored in a manger scene. He was born to die a ruthless and ignominious death on the Roman cross.
Don Whitney once said, “The cross lies at the heart of all God did through Jesus Christ. It is the supreme example of God’s power and wisdom displayed in what the world considers weakness and foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). And anyone who wants to know God must find Him in Christ crucified.”
Jesus was born to save! The Son of God came to save helpless sinners. The depravity of the human heart reveals the fact that fallen sinners would not desire God and could not please God unless Jesus intervened to bring us salvation. The angel of the Lord told Joseph these words as Mary his betrothed wife was pregnant, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus came to set prisoners free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32, 36). Only through Jesus can sinful man be reconciled to God the Father and Jesus made that abundantly clear by His words in John 14:6.
J.C. Ryle describes the saving work of Christ by writing, “[Jesus] saves His people from their sins. This is His special office. He saves them from the guilt of sin, by washing them in His own atoning blood. He saves them from the dominion of sin, by putting in their hearts the sanctifying Spirit. He saves them from the presence of sin, when He takes them out of this world to rest with Him. He will save them from all the consequences of sin, when He shall give them a glorious body at the last day. Blessed and holy are Christ’s people! From sorrow, cross, and conflict they are not saved. But they are saved from sin for evermore.“
The Bible tells us that Satan’s work is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Jesus’ birth was to accomplish the exact opposite. Jesus came to give Himself in a sacrificial death, to bring life, and to destroy the work of the devil. 1 John 3:8 says, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” When Jesus died on the cross, He literally suffered under the wrath of God in place of guilty sinners. He finished the work of salvation and cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30). When Jesus said it is finished, He was referencing the will of the Father. He was referencing the salvation of His people. He was also referencing the destruction of the devil’s work.
Charles Wesley accurately described the death of Jesus in his hymn, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, “Born that man no more may die.”
May God fill our hearts with the truth of Christmas – and work that Jesus accomplished following His birth.
Pastor Josh Buice
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1. “Take Up Your Cross Daily,” www.BiblicalSpirituality.org
2. Commentary on Matthew 1