BY DR. KURT TRUCKSESS - CROSSWINDS CHURCH SENIOR PASTOR
As Christmas approaches, we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. He lived 2,000 years ago. He spent the first 30 years of his life working in obscurity as a carpenter for his father. He never traveled far from home. He never married or fathered children. He didn’t make a lot of money or write a book.
Why is the timeline of history divided in half based upon his birth? Why are more books written about him, more paintings painted of him and more songs sung to him than anyone else in the history? What makes the birth of Jesus special?
The Bible tells us Jesus was more than an ordinary baby. He was God in human flesh. In Colossians 1:15, we learn Jesus is the image of the invisible God. No one has seen God the Father or can see God the Father. In John 14:9, Jesus told us that if we have seen him, we have seen God the Father because Jesus is God and he perfectly represents his father. Seeing Jesus is like seeing God the Father in the flesh. Jesus images his Father as perfectly as our reflection in the bathroom mirror images us each morning.
Colossians 1:16 also tells us Jesus is the one that created all things in heaven and on earth. While God the Father planned creation, when he spoke it into being, Jesus is the one who carried out his father’s creative decrees. Hebrews 1 and John 1 also tell us all things were brought into existence by Jesus. That means all 800,000 insects on the planet were created by Jesus. Every tree, every grass, every flower, every animal on the land and every fish in the sea were created by Jesus. Every strand of DNA in our body was crafted by Jesus.
Jesus didn’t just create our planet. He also created the rest of the universe. The sun was made by Jesus. The sun is 864,000 miles across and it is 100 times larger than the earth. The sun is so large, 1.3 million earths fit inside it. Jesus made the sun. Jesus also made every planet orbiting around our sun. He made Mars, Venus and Pluto. He made every star in the sky. Stars look small but are actually huge. The star Betelgeuse has a diameter of 100 million miles. That is larger than the size of the earth’s orbit around the sun. That is just one star! Jesus made all of them.
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second. It takes light eight minutes and 20 seconds to reach the earth from the sun. That same light takes four years to reach our nearest star known as Alpha Centauri. Our galaxy, known as the Milky Way, has hundreds of billions of stars just like Alpha Centauri. Jesus made every one of them! Scientists claim there are billions of other galaxies with billions of stars in each one. Every one of them was made by Jesus. Scientists believe the number of stars in the sky is equivalent to the number of grains of sand on planet earth. Jesus made all of them! As it says in Hebrews 1:2, Jesus made the universe!
In Colossians 1:17, we learn Jesus existed before all things and in him all things hold together. That means Jesus is the glue that holds the universe together to keep it from spinning out of control. All of the precise gravitational pulls of the planets that keep them suspended is kept in check by Jesus. The seasons on earth are maintained by Jesus. The oceans are kept a bay by Jesus. Jesus did not make our universe and walk away. Jesus is actively involved sustaining our planet and our life.
The one who created and sustains the universe is the same one that poured all of himself into human flesh. He was born in Bethlehem to a young unwed mother in the humblest of circumstances. Why would the one of such power and majesty willfully choose to restrain his might and take on a position of complete humility in humanity?
In Colossians 1:21-22, the Bible tells us each one of us is cut off from God because of our sin. God loves us so much that he determined to not leave us this way. Just as Jesus carried out his Father’s will to create the world, Jesus carried out his father’s will to save us in the world. God the Father’s will was for Jesus to step aside from his glory in heaven, humble himself by voluntarily restraining his might and power to fuse himself into a human body. A human body he would have forever. This way he could die in our place to save us from our sin. After paying for our sin on the cross, he rose from the grave to a new life. A new life he now offers to us.
When we repent of our sin, ask Jesus to forgive our sin and ask Jesus to be in charge our life; the Bible says in John 3 that we experience a second birth. Our old nature dies and God makes us into a new person that has the character of Jesus. Jesus humbled himself and became part of his creation because he loves us. He came to save us, forgive us, and make us into a new people that are in love with God, not in rebellion against him.
Why do we celebrate Jesus’ birth? He is much more than just an ordinary baby in the manger. He is the one that created and sustains the universe that humbled himself to become one of us to save us. In Ephesians 1, the Bible describes those who trust in Jesus as the most blessed beings in the entire universe because of forgiveness and new life through Jesus. Our new life with Jesus begins now but gets even better in eternity.
At Christmas we celebrate much more than a baby in a manger that lived 2,000 years ago. He is the one who made the world that came to save the world. Jesus came to save you because he loves you. Will you confess your sin to him, ask him to make you into a new creation, and become a brother or sister of Jesus? A follower of Jesus is the most blessed being in the universe. This is what makes the birth of Jesus worth celebrating.