December 3, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”—Romans 3:22–24 (NLT)
Every year, we celebrate Christmas. It’s a beautiful time of joy and good tidings. We decorate a tree, string up lights, sing carols, give gifts, and remind people that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” But have you ever stopped and asked why He’s the reason for the season? Why is there a Christmas season at all? Why did Jesus have to come?
The short answer? Sin. Romans 3:23 (NLT) says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” And Romans 6:23 (NIV) outlines why sin and falling short of God’s glory is a problem: “For the wages of sin is death.”
Now the long answer: In Genesis 1, we read about the creation of the universe. And the crowning jewel of this creation was mankind. Why? Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them.” That means we’re all created in the image of God! Every single one of us, no matter who we are, where we’re from, what we look like, or what we’ve done, we all have infinite and immutable (something that can never be taken away) value as image-bearers of God.
We were made by God, for God, to know Him, to have relationship with Him, and to be with Him forever as His children. This is why we were made and what we were made for, and the first two people, Adam and Eve, got to experience this. Did you know Adam and Eve got to walk with God, talk with God, and enjoy perfect relationship with Him? They got to live their purpose and enjoy the fruits of the Garden (Genesis 2:15–16). But then it all went wrong . . .
Genesis 3 tells us that Adam and Eve were tempted and turned away from God. They allowed their pride and selfish impulses, their desire to be “like” God and have more than what God had given them, to cloud their judgment. We call this “the fall.” In that moment, the Bible says, “sin entered the world . . . and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12 NIV, emphasis added).
The worst part is that the very thing they were seeking, to be like God, they already had. Remember? They were perfect and made in His image; His imprint was on their hearts and souls. But because of their sin, all humanity was infected. Sin caused a separation between us and a holy, perfect God. Every child born since then has been born spiritually dead, separated from God—except for One.
Basically, sin brought death and we were helpless to save ourselves from it. We needed divine intervention. The story of Christmas is about the moment God intervened. How? “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” (John 3:16 NIV). Jesus, the perfect Son of God, said, “Here I am . . .” (Hebrews 10:7 NIV) and He “gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned” (Galatians 1:4 NLT). He paid the price for our sins and shame once and for all in order to give us the gift of God, which is “eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NLT).
Because of Jesus, we can glorify and enjoy God even more intimately than Adam and Eve ever could. We not only get to walk with God, but we have the Spirit of God within us filling us with the light of eternal life and guiding us every single day! Tomorrow, we’ll see how God’s plan began to take shape through history.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.