Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus – Day 2

Jesus Immanuel – From Christmas to the Cross

Bible text(s)

4But when the right time finally came, God sent his own Son. He came as the son of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law, 5to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might become God's sons and daughters.

Galatians 4:4-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

23“A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

Matthew 1:23GNBOpen in Bible reader

God’s timing is perfect. At precisely the right moment in history God sent His Son to earth. Why? God loved us that much. John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Through the sacrifice of Jesus, He wanted to save us from our sin, and give us everlasting life, so that death would not be the end for us. He wanted to redeem you and me, so we would become His children and “receive the full rights of sons”.

Christmas is the very important celebration of God’s coming to earth in the form of a helpless baby. Matthew 1:23 tells us: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’ – which means ‘God with us.’” But Easter is a time of even deeper significance, as it highlights that it is God in Christ who goes to the Cross to die, to bring spiritual renewal for all who believe in Jesus as LORD.

What of the foreshadowing of the cross in the Nativity account? The gift of myrrh, an ointment used for embalming bodies, is made to the child Jesus by one of the wise men. Is this not, partly, an allusion to His death and burial?

Do you notice that some songs sung at Christmastime appear to be better suited to Easter? For example, “O come, O come Immanuel and ransom captive Israel.” Logically, we have to look past Jesus, the baby, to Jesus the adult, and what He achieved for us on the cross. Our redemption comes from His dying and rising again. Easter completes the Christmas story, so to speak, because God’s purpose from the beginning was redemption for all mankind, played out by Christ paying the price for the life of mankind by His death on the Cross, literally buying us back, because without Him we are actually lost in sin, with no hope of salvation. Easter is therefore the celebration of the magnificence of the Risen Saviour and the triumph of God’s grace.

So we enter this very important celebration of Christ’s triumph of life over death for every one of us, through the person of Jesus Christ. As we walk with Him along the road that leads to the Cross, let us ask ourselves who He is to us and what He means to us.

Are we redeemed? Have we received the full rights of sons yet?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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