Examining Why Jesus Came: The True Meaning of Christmas

It is truly the most wonderful time of year as we celebrate our Savior’s first advent. While family getting together, good food and presents are wonderful, remembering the real reason for Christmas is crucial for us as believers. My prayer for us all this year is that we will take the time to remember why Christ came. The following is a list that comes directly from scripture that tells us reasons why Jesus came to earth. Every one of the following passages uses some form of the phrase “He came” to describe the great mission of Christmas. Meditate on His great purpose for coming into the world.

  1. He came to fulfill the Law of God and thus become righteousness for all who believe. In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Jesus came not to overthrow or destroy God’s Law, or to render it useless. Rather He came to fulfill it so that He could not only model righteousness for His followers, but become a righteousness that could be imputed to His followers by faith (2 Cor 5:21).
  2. He came as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 says clearly that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to give His life as a payment for those who were enslaved to sin, death and the devil. God pays a ransom to Himself and redeems us out of slavery and puts us into the Father’s house as sons. All of this was made possible through the Son’s coming into the world.
  3. He came to call sinners to repentance. In Luke 5:31-32 Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt 9:13, Mark 2:17). Based on the ransom that Jesus would pay, He came to “call” sinners to believe in Him. He came to redeem those that the “Father had given him.”
  4. He came to serve, NOT to be served. In Matthew 20:28, Jesus says, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Jesus came to serve His people. It is His service toward us that makes us His children. He died on the cross to make us His children. This is why good works do nothing to contribute to our salvation. Our salvation is solely dependent on Christ alone. If we do not allow Him to serve us, he will have no part with us. (Jn 13:8).
  5. He came to give sight to the morally blind. In John 9:39, Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see.” Jesus came to open people’s eyes so that they can see the light and walk in it. Because sinners are lost, their eyes are blind spiritually. Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind. (2 Cor 4:4)
  6. Christ came to divide households. In Matthew 10:34-39 Jesus surprisingly said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.” The point of this word is not that God loves division and strife. The point is that strife and division caused by true allegiance to Jesus is inevitable when true followers trust in Jesus. The coming of Jesus is certainly going to bring about a great division even among family. (Luke 2:34)
  7. He came to save from divine condemnation. John 3:17-18 says, “For God sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already.” (Matt 18:11, Lk 9:56, Jn 12:47). God sent His Son to save us from just condemnation and the wrath of God. Christmas is God sending His Son into the world to save us from Himself and the just wrath that we deserved.
  8. He came to give us eternal life. Titus 2:11 says that “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” (Jn 3:16, Jn 10:10). Eternal life is the promise that is guaranteed by Christ’s coming. This is not a verse that promotes universalism. The coming of Jesus did not guarantee the salvation of every man without distinction. But rather Jesus came to “save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). Jesus came that He might give His people, those who believe in him, eternal life.
  9. He came to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 says, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Jesus came and was clothed with humanity and born of a virgin so that he could be a destroyer. The works of the devil are certainly sin. Jesus appeared in order to “take away sins” (1 John 3:5). Jesus came in order to provide forgiveness to sinners and to empower them to live holy lives.
  10. Jesus came to glorify His Father in heaven. In John 12:27, in the last hours of His life, Jesus said, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose, I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.” Jesus came to this earth in order to bring glory to God. His life, and death were the plan all along in order to accomplish this great purpose.

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the “holiday.” Don’t make it simply a holiday, meditate on these things so that this time of year will truly be a “Merry Christmas” where Christ is at the center of it all.

From my family to yours, “Merry Christmas!”
~ Pastor Tim Gibson