WHY Did the Son of God Come At All?
Traditionally, we are still in Christmas and Christians are still rejoicing in the great truth that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
At our church we complete another year of seeking to bring the gospel to our community.
It continually strikes me, and hit me again as I talked to visitors to our Christmas services, what an uphill battle we have to communicate what the gospel actually is.
The good news is very simple: “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). That is the historical story to which Christmas is the introduction.
It becomes our story when we receive this Christ and rest on him by faith for salvation, no matter what we have done in our past.
His arms are wide open to all who will come to him as they are.
Yet, even when this is explained I find people, even church-goers, saying to me, “But I believe if you lead a decent, good life, then that’s all you can do.” It is a subtle faith in self, while believing it is the teaching of Jesus.
But if that is what God teaches us in the Bible, then why did the Son of God come at all? The teaching to love God and neighbour is already in the Old Testament! More specifically, why did Jesus say he came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45)?
No, there was something deeper going on in Bethlehem and 30 years later outside the walls of Jerusalem. The baby Jesus in a manger came to deal with a problem that could not be addressed simply by our trying harder to be good. It could only be addressed by him taking human nature, suffering death in our place and making a way open for our true freedom if we would but trust him.
Minister, Solihull Presbyterian Church