I love Christmas! Food, family, and food! I may have those out of order, but I love this season.
Growing up, we would attend our church’s Christmas Eve service. I remember the church being packed with families, singing Christmas hymns and lighting candles. My family would read the story of Christ’ birth from Matthew and Luke. My brother, sister and I would have a slumber party on Christmas Eve, staying up all night laughing and making every attempt to “catch Santa.” And even though Santa was cool, I knew it was about Jesus.
But I didn’t fully understand just how important His birth really is.
God gave Moses the 10 Commandments to make the Israelites aware of their sin. The Law did nothing to bring about atonement for sin, so God required daily sacrifices. But Moses and the prophets knew that God would establish a new covenant, and it would not be written on tablets, but on the very hearts and minds of God’s people!
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel after those days,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – Jeremiah 31:33
The birth of Christ was the arrival of this New Covenant, which we now live under. There are 3 things that Jesus accomplished in the New Covenant:
- The law is written on our hearts and on our minds. The Israelites, under the Old Covenant, did not have the Holy Spirit in them to serve as a guide. Christ resurrection and our acceptance of Christ guarantees the deposit of the Holy Spirit. “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
- All our sins are forgiven. “And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.” (Matthew 26:27-28) The Old Covenant pointed TO sin. The New Covenant made way for forgiveness FROM all sin. Christ had become the atoning sacrifice once and for all.
- An inheritance of eternal life. “That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.” (Hebrews 9:15). It is what God desired from the beginning, before the fall, and Christ redeemed humanity and God’s desire for us to live eternally.
Christ’s birth brings the arrival of this new covenant. It is why we celebrate Christmas, it is why our Creator initiates a relationship with us through His son. Church, there is so much going on with Christmas!
Merry Christmas SoHills!