the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
What is the significance of the Eternal Son of God taking on human flesh and being born in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago? Why was it necessary and what did God seek to accomplish in the event?
In the first place, the birth of Jesus was necessary because of Adam's sin. Adam's act of defiance toward God plunged all of humanity into sin and separation from the Creator. All of humanity was affected because Adam was the covenant representative of the human race. Since that time, every human being is born in sin and with enmity against God (Romans 3:23, 8:7). Therefore it was necessary a "last Adam" would come into the world as a new representative of Mankind. However, in order to accomplish any good, the last Adam had to be truly human and truly sinless. In other words, in order to undo the damage Adam did, it was required a truly a human person, should live in perfect obedience to God's will. Only then could He be a proper representative.
Yet, there was a debt to pay as well. The Bible tells us the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Indeed, Adam was told if he were to disobey God he would die. The only reason he didn't fall down dead the moment he sinned is because God is gracious and knew another Adam would one day come to earth to undo the damage of the first Adam. Moreover, that last Adam - Jesus - was able to satisfy the just sentence of death for the whole world. Because He is sinless He was not required to die for any sin He committed. Because He is the Eternal Son, very God of very God, His sacrifice is of infinite value and is adequate to redeem everyone who turns to Him for salvation.
In fact, God did not intend to limit His work of grace to the salvation of souls. According to the Bible, it pleased God, that in Jesus Christ, all the fullness of the Deity should dwell and by Jesus to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:19-20). This is another reason the Eternal son was joined with human nature in the single person of Jesus the Christ; God desired to redeem all of creation. If the Father were disinterested in the material realm, the Son would not have come to earth in a physical, material, form. The birth of the Son of God affirms the importance of the created realm. The Son could have appeared on earth as a purely spiritual presence with His body a mere facade. Instead, he was born just like any other baby and spent his entire life subject to the same physical circumstance as every human being.
Therefore, Christmas reminds us this physical realm is important to God and we have a job to do on this earth. We are ambassadors of Christ, called to bring all of life under His authority. Every lawful, moral, activity practiced by mankind is supposed to be captured by the followers of Jesus Christ and practiced as unto the Lord.
Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season. More than that, He is the reason we labor to do everything in a distinctively Christian way.