Christmas is a wonderful season of warmth and giving, and yet all around us the world is broken. We see hostility… wars, genocide, and sickness. This isn’t only outside our borders – domestic violence skyrockets in the Christmas season, discontentment and greed appear in the shopping frenzy, and some buy the affection of others through gifts. But when we think about Christmas, this all seems so wrong.
What is wrong with the world?
Why such hostility instead of peace? When asked “What is wrong with the world?”, author G.K. Chesterton’s answer was succinct… “I am.” The hostility is within us. We are all desperate for peace, but only if it’s on our terms. When what I want comes against what you want, there will be hostility at some level. But this goes even further. The Bible says that we are God’s creation living in God’s universe. Yet ever since the first man and woman, people have sought to live their lives apart from the God who gave them life in the first place. Like our first parents in the Garden of Eden, we also cast God off as King and put ourselves on the throne, in opposition to his righteous rule, hostile to the idea of having any other Lord than ourselves.
How can justice prevail?
Being wholly and inherently good, God delights in truth and righteousness. He loves what is good and right, and therefore hates unrighteousness and wickedness, including our rebellion against him. And because God is not only perfectly loving and good but also perfectly fair, we all deserve his wrath as just Judge since we have all, in one way or another, rebelled against his good rule in our lives. Just as you and I delight when justice prevails in the courts, it is only right that our rebellion against God is judged so that justice might prevail. And because we have all rebelled against his lordship and are tainted by sin, every one of us is therefore condemned to death and separation from our Creator.
So what hope is there for us?
This is bad news indeed. Our rebellion and sin condemn us, for we have put ourselves in hostility against God and against one another. We are helpless to “make it right” and deal with our sin on our own. But here is the Good News of Christmas. This good King sent his son, Jesus the Prince of Peace, to deal with our sin. He became a human being like you and me. He lived the true and perfect life that we fail to live. God could not just sweep our sin under the carpet, but he loved us so much that he was willing to suffer the sentence we deserve in our place through Jesus. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death on the cross killed the hostility between God and all those who put their faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. In this, God justly judges our sin while at the same time giving peace and salvation to those who choose to believe in him. Thus we can turn to him and turn away from our sin.
Christmas is a wonderful time of peace in the midst of a hostile world. God gave the greatest Christmas gift (Jesus) to his enemies, so that his enemies might become his friends. We can be reconciled with God simply by accepting that Jesus is our Saviour and surrendering our lives to him as Lord. And we can look forward to the day where he will return as King and establish his Kingdom of peace, so all who have accepted him can know his goodness, without the brokenness of our sinful world.
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