He Came to Save
Bible Reading: John 12
John 12:44-47, “And Jesus cried out and said, ‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world’.”
Martin Luther once said, “The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding.” And so, it is! The intricacies of why the eternal Son would stoop so low to save poor sinners like us is a transcendent truth. And yet, this much we know—He came to save! We can’t rightly understand the true message of Christmas apart from a full appreciation of the purpose for which he came. The truth of why the CREATOR was once laid in the CRADLE can only be apprehended if we have come to appreciate the reason for why he died on a CROSS.
It’s amazing to consider the extent of what He left behind and sacrificed in His divine rescue mission. “Though He was rich, yet for (our) sake He became poor,” when “he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (2 Corinthians 9:6; Philippians 2:7). It is as J. Vernon McGee has said: He came from the atmosphere of Heaven to the smelly air of a stall. He departed the presence of angels and arrived in the presence of animals. He came from the light of the Father’s house to the darkness of a barn. He gave up the halls of eternity to enter the stable of maternity. He came a long way from the joy of Heaven to the sorrow of earth.”
Jesus did that to save us. That’s the purpose for which he came, even as 1 Timothy 1:15 explains: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” “For all have sinned” and the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 3:23, 6:23). He came to rescue us from the judgement we deserve.
John MacArthur put the matter this way, “But the Bible says that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. That’s the reason for His coming. Sin is the ugliness of Christmas. It is the degenerative power in the human stream that makes man susceptible to disease, disaster, illness, death and hell. And it is the reason for Christmas. Every broken marriage, every disrupted home, every shattered friendship, every argument, every disagreement, every evil thought, evil word, evil deed, every good deed undone, good thought un-thought, good word unsaid can be attributed to sin… So, you cannot look at Christmas and celebrate its peripheral elements, you must understand that the heart of it is the ugliness of sin.”
The good news is what the hymn speaks of, for He came (and died), “for poor, or’nry people like you and I.” Poor, ordinary, rebel sinners. Poor sin-dead, lost, sin-weary souls. Poor people without God and without hope in the world. He came and, by way of his “once for all” sacrifice for sins, opened the door whereby lost sinners could be saved from sin’s penalty, power, and, one day, its presence. Indeed, He has provided a “salvation to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25) for all who place their trust in Him!
The True Meaning of Christmas is that God has provided for us a Savior, His Son Jesus Christ! In that, there is a gift for all to receive and rejoice in. Have you received God’s gift of salvation? 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” And for those who know Him, a message to be shared. Even as the hymn says: “Down in a lowly manger, the humble Christ was born; And God sent us salvation that blessed Christmas morn—Go tell it on the mountain!”
GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
Go tell it on the mountain,
over the hills, and ev’rywhere;
go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.
While shepherds kept their watching
o’er silent flocks by night,
behold, throughout the heavens
there shone a holy light. [Refrain]
The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo, above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth. [Refrain]
Down in a lowly manger
the humble Christ was born,
and God sent us salvation
that blessed Christmas morn. [Refrain]