The Savior of the World

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 25, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As today is Christmas, I will be taking a break from my series in addressing Matthew Vines’ arguments on Christianity and homosexuality. That will resume next week. Today is Christmas, the day that those who believe in Christianity celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.

Many people the last few weeks have been setting up Christmas lights, decorating, buying gifts, gathering family, traveling, cooking, wrapping, and all the regular hoopla that goes on this month. But not everyone gets to enjoy this day. Many have broken homes where fathers are deployed, in prison, abandoned their families, or have died. Many families, when they gather, are not peaceful and joyous. Many people struggle through this time of year because of something tragic happening during this time period. Whether a happy, peaceful family, or a broken, separated, and miserable family, Jesus came to be the Savior of both.

As we go around looking at our decorations, we will see the standard nativity scene. Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a makeshift crib with straw for bedding, surrounded by animals, shepherds and wise men. But something has been lost in the glorifying of this scene. Jesus was born into a broken world, a hurting world. He was not born into privilege. He was not born to attention worthy of his name. As the director of the 2006 Urbana Convention put it, let me take the stained glass off this scene.

Joseph was forced to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, by foot a distance of 80 miles right at the time when Mary was expecting her child. He did not want to have to do that right then and there. Mary chose to go with him, knowing her child was due. Mary and Joseph already had their community question them because Mary, a virgin, was with child. She wasn’t married yet. When Jesus tried to minister in Nazareth, the people mocked his being “Mary and Joseph’s son.” They all knew he was illegitimate because the two were not married yet. They carried that stigma with them the rest of their lives. In Bethlehem, every room was taken because everyone else was also there to register for the census, and that was when Mary began labor. No hospital, no midwife. No room to have the baby. They had to sleep in a stable, possibly a cave. Alone. No help. They used a feeding trough (that is what a manger is) to lay him in.

It did not get much easier. Yes, some shepherds were told the message from an angelic host, but they too were the lowest of the lowest rung in society. Later these wise men showed up. That’s a whole sermon in itself and they gave gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh, but right after this, Jesus and his parents had to flee from Herod, who then killed every baby under age 2. Jesus immediately became a refugee in Egypt. An international wanderer.

Why do I tell you this? Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. A time of partying and family, and celebration. I tell you this because most of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not, have broken situations. There are many who talk to me and think I have it all figured out. No, I don’t. My own family is separated. I am with my parents, but none of my other siblings or any of our other family is coming (for a variety of reasons, most legit, some not good). We cannot travel to go visit family, and even if we did, we could not see everyone. And some in my family don’t even want to see us. Some of you may be dealing with a broken situation. A broken home. A lost job. Financial trouble. The list goes on. And I want to tell you that Jesus understands. And he came for YOU… and for me.

He was a born as a baby, in a very humble setting. But he grew up to become the teacher he was and he died to be the replacement for our sin, for our rebellion and our treachery against him. He did nothing wrong. He did absolutely nothing to deserve the mocking, the ridicule, the whips, the thorns, the beating, the punching, the spitting, being driven out of the city, and nailed to a cross, publicly naked (the ultimate shame for a Jew). All of that he took so that which is broken in us could be restored.

Jesus did not come to save the wealthy. To save the healthy. To save the self-righteous. He came to save humble sinner, who recognize their sin and their rebellion against God. He came for the poor. He came for the broken. He came for the weak. He came for the disabled. He came to give life and life more abundant. He knows what you have been through. He knows the hurts. He knows the pain. He knows the brokenness. He knows the betrayal of others. He knows the rejection from those we seek approval from.

He came to restore that which the enemy has stolen. He came to give life where there was none. He came to give hope where there was none. He came to rescue the captives. He came to give sight to the blind, legs to the lame, ears to the deaf, and tongues to the mute. And he came to bring the Kingdom of God, the glory and majesty of God himself here on earth. He left to go prepare a place for us who believe in him, and he will return. When he does, he will not be a humble baby, but a conquering king to end the domain of evil once for all and to bring justice for those who had not received it.

Are the holidays rough for you? Let this post encourage you that Jesus came to deal with the pain you have endured. Are the holidays are glorious time for you? Let this post encourage you that the victory Jesus won at the Cross is the reason why we can celebrate. May Jesus Christ be gloried this day and every day for ever and ever. May he receive the reward of his suffering and may he have Lordship over every area of our lives so that where there used to be death, there may be life. Today, I celebrate the day Jesus came because he has transformed my life in ways I cannot describe and give it justice. Why do you celebrate today? If not, let this post give you a reason to celebrate it. And we do not celebrate a mere date. We celebrate a person: a person who is the Savior of the World.

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