Many people celebrate Christmas but not all appreciate what Jesus did by coming to earth. He never gave up His deity as the only Son of God, but He laid aside the glory of heaven and humbled Himself to meet us right where we are.
“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.”Philippians 2:6-7, ESV
So, why did Jesus come to earth?
Jesus came to dwell with us.
Through the prophet Zechariah, God had spoken that one day He would come to dwell among us:
“‘Sing and rejoice, O Daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people. I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.'”Zechariah 2:10-11
“All this took place to fulfill what the LORD had spoken by the prophet:
‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”Matthew 1:22-23
From Eden to Bethlehem, God’s desire has been to dwell among us. In Jesus, we experience the fulfillment of that promise.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil.
Our enemy, the devil, is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He was the tempter in the garden (Genesis 3:1, Revelation 12:9) and in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1). He came to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and give us the ability to overcome sin and death.
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”1 John 3:8
Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we have victory over sin, hell, and the grave.
“He forgave us our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”Colossians 2:13b-15, NIV84
“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 15:56-57, ESV
Jesus came to save us from our sins.
Lest we get caught up in the image of the sweet, helpless Babe in the manger, let us remember He came to save us. He didn’t come to lead a rebellion, overthrow the Roman government, or set up an earthly kingdom. Jesus came to die.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”Luke 19:10
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”John 3:17-18
Christmas is a special time, probably the favorite holiday for many. So as we gather with friends and family, let’s remember not just the beautiful Christmas story of His first coming, but let’s remember why He came.
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”1 Timothy 1:15
We all are sinners in need of a Savior. That’s why He came. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please know that you can have new life in Him.
That’s what Christmas is all about.