Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Day That Changed Everything

By Matthew Zuk

A depiction of the birth of Christ

One of the greatest events in all of history occurred roughly two thousand years ago, in a small town called Bethlehem. The outcome of this event literally changed everything, for it is the event where God humbled Himself and took on the form of man. You may ask, why is this so significant? How did it change everything? How does it affect me? Well, read on and pray that God will open your eyes to realize how incredible the event of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection truly is.

Why is it unbelievable that God became man?

The first aspect that displays the amazing nature of Christ’s birth is the very character of God. God is infinite, all knowing, all wise, all-powerful, holy, righteous and transcendent. He is so incredible we cannot even begin to describe Him in full. He is so beyond us, yet He became like one of us. Jesus Christ is truly an enigma. He is the “God-man”, fully God and fully human at the same time. Philippians 2:5-8 describes the event:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” 

This passage is about Christ’s example of humility. The verses leading up to this passage give us commands to put others before ourselves and to be humble. That is what the passage refers to when it says, “have this mind among yourselves”. It describes Christ as the ultimate example of humility, and explains why: He became human. Christ, even though He was in the form of God, emptied Himself to take on the form of a servant. He was born in the likeness of men, and later He humbled Himself even further. He is the ultimate example of obedience; He was completely obedient to the Father even to the point of one of the most horrific deaths ever devised by man. As we read this passage the significance of the birth of Christ becomes clearer and clearer. It changed everything; never before nor since has an event of the same kind taken place, where God lowered Himself in the pinnacle of humble obedience and became a lowly man.

How was He born?

Another aspect that exhibits Christ’s incredible birth is the way He was born. Christ wasn’t just a normal baby that God chose, or even one He blessed after conception. He was born of a virgin. The virgin birth is a scientific impossibility, it cannot happen. But God is not bound by the rules He created; if He were He would cease to be God. Now, you may ask why is the virgin birth important? Why did it have to be a virgin birth and not just a regular birth? Because Jesus Christ was not born with sin, the Holy Spirit conceived him fallen man did not. He was born perfect, without blemish or sin, had He been born of man He would have carried with Him a sin nature. Now this can lead to the misconception that men pass on the sin nature because it was all right to have Mary in the equation. However, Mary had nothing to do with the birth of Christ, she was merely the conduit. Her participation went only so far as to provide the physical body. Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of Mary. She was not sinless, and the Holy Spirit didn’t merely “act as the father” in the birth of Christ in order to take the male out of the equation. The conception and the reason Christ was sinless was entirely due to the Holy Spirit. Thus we see that the fact that Christ was born of a virgin is indeed extremely important. 

Depiction of the death of Christ

Why did He come?

The final aspect we will go over (there are certainly more, we’d encourage you to do some further study on the event of Christ’s birth) is the reason why Christ came to earth. This adds the final piece that shows how the Advent really did change everything. The purpose for Christ coming to earth was to glorify God by sacrificing Himself, becoming sin for us and saving us from eternal separation from Him. He took on our offense; He gave Himself up to die on a cross in obedience to God in order to bring God glory. Many people often miss this; the primary purpose of Christ’s death was not to save us. That statement may sound shocking, however we know that everything goes back to God and that He does all things for His glory. Because bringing God glory is the primary purpose of everything, why would it be different with Christ’s sacrifice? It wouldn’t; the primary purpose is to bring God glory, and our salvation is a side benefit of that purpose. It is the means by which God brings Himself glory. 

How does Christ’s sacrifice primarily bring God glory? Because it is God becoming a man and laying His life down in our stead even though we are totally unworthy. We deserve to spend eternity in the fiery depths of hell, yet God chose to save us only by His amazing grace. Because it is only by God’s grace it is all for His glory. We do not merit salvation; God gives salvation to us. That is why Christ came to earth as a man, and that is why the advent changed everything.


So celebrate this Christmas praising God for what He has done for us! Praise God that He humbled Himself by becoming man, praise Him that He took on our punishment and died on the cross, and praise Him for His resurrection! That is the focus of Christmas and that is why we should celebrate. Have a Merry Christmas and never forget what Jesus the Messiah has done!

For more information on the amazing sacrifice of Christ please visit our Gospel blog post.

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