Text: Hebrews 2:9-18
Without Christ, Christmas is just another secular holiday. The world seems to see Christmas solely for gift-giving, shared fellowship, family bonding, and romantic holidates. It is true that even Spurgeon encouraged Christians to celebrate more than celebrate less. However, every time we take out Christ in Christmas, it diminishes the real purpose of the day.
Suffering: Despite this presence of suffering, God calls us to trust in Him, be faithful just as how Job was, and continue to walk wisely and righteously. God promises that He will be with His people, never leave them, and help them by the Spirit’s comfort and protection. By God’s grace in Christ, we long for the eschatological coming of the kingdom of God where pain and suffering are no longer existing.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation: The vast meaning of the term “forgive” is rich. It pertains to covering up, to pardon, to be merciful, to send away or take away, and more. This forgiveness does not only secure redemption but also transforms the heart of a person to pursue godliness. The author proposes that this divine forgiveness is not limited to vertical reconciliation: God and humanity, but also horizontally: believers and community.
Assurance: God has been in the business of assuring His elect. Still, in the Old Testament God’s promises, encountering His people, and showing signs and wonders was His way to assure His covenantal relationship with Israel. It is understood both in the OT and the NT as God’s gift. A reflection of His grace to demonstrate the certainty of one’s faith. It is best understood as God’s act of letting His children be confident, have peace of mind, and rest in Christ by the Spirit.
At the end of the day, the real reason for Christmas is Christ—the Second Person of the Trinity—preexistent, eternal, and Lord, willingly chose to become fully human, in order to save humanity from the wretchedness of their sin. That is why we celebrate Christmas; it brings us, Hope. Once again, Christmas is a story of second chances, anyone can be whole again. Anyone has the opportunity to be redeemed from their sin. Christmas is an act of grace.
The Christ of Christmas is not just the Savior of the Ancient past, but still the Redeemer and Lord of this present generation. Hope is a person, indeed.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
December 26, 2021
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.