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Saturday, December 26, 2015
There’s No Christmas without the Cross BY RICK WARREN — DECEMBER 25, Friday
“For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity — the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT, second edition)
Christmas without the cross is irrelevant. If Jesus had just stayed a baby in a manger, you could stop reading this right now — it’s pointless. Without the cross, there’s no reason to spend an entire month getting ready for the celebration of his birth. There’s no reason to put up Christmas lights, play music, send cards, or buy gifts.
The whole world shuts down one day a year to celebrate a day that split history into A.D. and B.C. God came to Earth and invaded human history. And because he did, the world will never be the same.
But it wouldn’t have mattered a lick without the cross. God sent his Son as the Savior for the whole world so that all people can know him.
The Bible says, “For there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity — the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT, second edition).
In the Bible the symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice of himself is called the “Sacrificial Lamb.” The Bible uses this metaphor because lambs are harmless. They’re not predators. They’re innocent. Jesus didn’t hurt anyone, and he did not deserve to die. He was the Son of God, but God allowed him to be sacrificed for us — all of us.
God knows the pain of losing a child, because he sent his Son to die in your place. And he did that for every person who has ever walked the planet. No person is beyond the love and reach of God.