The Reason for the Season

Victoria Van Couvering

What IS Christmas all about? Some possibilities: being with family, finding just the right gift for each person, time to get away or caught up on projects at home.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season.” It’s a good answer…but not the complete answer. Why is the birth of someone who lived over 2000 years ago in a small town in Israel worth celebrating?

The following summary is the framework for the complete answer that question:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and created Adam and Eve in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). He planted a garden to meet their needs and be a place where He could visit with them (Genesis 2:8, 3:8). He gave them only one command: Don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, or you will die (Genesis 2:16).

They disobeyed the command and ate a piece of that fruit. They found out their disobedience (sin) meant they could no longer remain in the garden and continue the kind of relationship they had with God (a form of death they could not have imagined Genesis 4:22-24).

Paul explains that their sin “infected” everyone that was born after them (Romans 5:12) But…God’s heart wants all people to be saved and know the truth about Him and about sin (1 Timothy 2:4). So, He had a plan from the very beginning to bring people back into a close loving relationship with Him.

Chuck Missler, a well-known Bible teacher, translated the meaning of the Hebrew names in the genealogy in Genesis chapter 5 into English. Here’s what he found (Missler, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, page 25):

Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan — Man, Appointed, Mortal, Sorrow

Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch — The Blessed God, Shall Come Down, Teaching

Methuselah, Lamech, Noah — His Death Shall Bring, The Despairing, Rest or Comfort

Man is appointed mortal sorrow, but the blessed God shall come down, teaching. His death shall bring the despairing rest or comfort. (The gospel – good news – in a nutshell.)

Today people don’t use the word sin, and certainly don’t grasp the seriousness of it. We no longer understand the biblical meaning of holiness, righteousness, truth, justice, mercy, grace…or love. We have never known God the way Adam and Eve did before they disobeyed. Truth is, they didn’t realize what they sacrificed when they ate the fruit. They didn’t know what they had until they’d lost it. They couldn’t “pay” for their sin; it couldn’t be “unsinned.” Sin has consequences.

What does God want from people? Jesus explained: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “(Matthew 22:37-39) No one can do that perfectly every moment of every day.

Jesus’ birth is the outworking of God’s plan to undo the disastrous effect of sin on every human being. Because He was still God and now also human, He was able to live a sinless life, but paid the price for all our sins when He died on the cross. Anyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God and his or her Savior is restored to a personal relationship with Him.

So, really, WE are the reason for the season…Jesus came for us.

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