Years ago, while walking into a dry cleaner during early December, I noticed a colorful poster in the window that read, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!”
While I understand the motive behind such a statement and commend the shop owner’s desire to challenge the commercialization of the season, if we apply a bit of biblical theology, we can see how Jesus really isn’t the reason for the season.
Yes, Jesus is the focus of the season. But he isn’t the reason we have Christmas.
I am the reason for the season. You are, too.
The Bible tells us that the reason Jesus was born was to save his people from their sins. In fact, this is what the name, Jesus, means–“the Lord Saves.”
20 An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
– Matthew 1:20-21
4But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
– Galatians 4:4-5
If we had not been sinners in need of rescue, then Jesus would not have had to be born in order to die as our sin substitute.
This means that the reason for Christmas is my sin–my need for redemption and reconciliation with God. It is this desperate need (the reason for Christmas) that fixes our focus on the coming of the Rescuer, making Jesus the undisputed focus of Christmas and our greatest gift.
God has taken the initiative, like a love-sick Father longing for his wayward son to come home, to seek and save us, bringing us home as fully forgiven, perfectly accepted, and dearly loved sons and daughters.
In the wake of such astonishing mercy, grace, and love, it is only right that this season of redemption’s fulfillment should be met with the greatest of celebration, as we exult in, worship, and adore our Hero-Savior-King, Jesus!