We celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. For us, it’s joy-filled and angels singing, parties and presents.
But for God, the sending of His Son was the final and ultimate solution to a terminal illness. For God, Christmas is about Jesus leaving the purity and perfection of heaven to live in the toxicity of humanity. Why? Because He was the only Way to repair the broken relationship between God and humankind.
To understand the real reason behind Christmas, we need to travel back to what started it all.
Read Genesis 3:1-7
- Prior to this moment, there was NO sin. Not one time had anyone (OK, there were only 2 people – Adam and Eve, but still) ever disobeyed God. A perfect alignment between God’s will and human behavior existed. We were batting 1000 on obedience. Scoring 100’s on the tests. Have you ever had a time when you felt that you were doing EXACTLY what God wanted you to do? A season when your life was completely aligned with His will? (I can think of a couple of those seasons in my life) Write down when that was for you, how it felt, and how you think you were able to do it?
- With one single action, the perfect streak was over for Adam and Eve. God gave them explicit instructions. They made a conscious decision to disobey. That’s what we call ‘sin’.
- Why do you think Eve disobeyed God?
- Why do you think Adam did it?
- When I read these 7 verses, I see some ‘steps’ in the process that began with temptation and ended in disobedience. Can you see some? Write them down, in order. Title it something like, “A step-by-step guide to giving into temptation.”
- When it was over, verse 7 tells us that Adam and Eve were changed. In what way were they changed?
- Name something that you have done recently that was the opposite of what God wanted you to do. (a sin you committed). In your journal, record anything that comes to your mind in terms of recent sins.
1 John 1:9* says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Take a minute right now to confess your sin to God. Ask him for forgiveness.
Sin always leads to shame. Adam and Eve felt shame, and symbolized that shame first by covering their nakedness. We tend to hide our sin, too. Nobody likes to admit it. We don’t like to talk about it. But there is cleansing in the confession, which is why I encouraged you to write it down. There’s something ‘confessional’ about that, followed by a sincerely remorseful prayer to God.
By now you might be wondering what in the world this has to do with Christmas. One word: Everything. Jesus didn’t gain anything by leaving heaven. Human life is a demotion if you’re already God. But what Adam and Eve started in Gen 3, we’ve continued to this very day, as we demonstrated a minute ago by recording and confessing our own sin.
Christmas is about Jesus coming to reconcile the sin problem. We’ll talk about that in the coming days. But let’s finish today by taking some time to pray a prayer of thanksgiving to God that Jesus willingly demoted himself at Christmas so that we could be promoted into His presence through the forgiveness of our sin.