While shopping at the mall with his mom, four-year-old Spencer noticed the long line of excited kids waiting to see Santa Claus. In childish innocence, he asked his mother a profound question: “Where’s the line to see Jesus?” Since Christmas is “Jesus’ birthday,” Spencer thought there should be more evidence of it!
Though no one questions that “Christmas” was named for Christ, “Merry Christmas” is now often replaced with “Happy holidays.” Christmas came about to celebrate Christ, God’s greatest gift to mankind—“for God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). Wrapped in that love came something invaluable for us—“the free gift of God,” which “is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)!
This is not a new thing!
It’s no surprise that 2,000 years after Jesus Christ came, Spencer couldn’t find a line to see him. Even when Christ was here on earth most people rejected his claims to be sent from God. Hundreds of years earlier the biblical prophet Isaiah foretold how his countrymen would respond to Jesus: “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). The author of the book of John in the Bible summarized it this way: “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11).
But John went on to say that “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). That offer of forgiveness of sins stands today. And Jesus still gives eternal life to all who believe that he died in their place.
Jesus lived a sinless life on earth and pleased God his Father in every detail of his life. Then he completed his mission by sacrificing his life in order to take the place of a world of hopelessly lost sinners! “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned—every one to his own way, and the Lord [God] has laid on him the iniquity [sins] of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus was the only one who could stand in for us, being both God and man: “There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Christ’s death on a cross and his resurrection three days later made our salvation possible. As the Bible says, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). There it is again…God giving the absolute best gift possible to us—everything we need for a meaningful relationship with him in this life and for eternity with him afterwards.
You have a critical choice to make.
The Bible says there will come a time when all those—the “great and small, standing before the throne”—whose names are “not found written in the book of life” will be forever banished from God’s presence (Revelation 20:12-15). What a tragic loss, especially since the judgment against them has already been fully paid by the Christ of Christmas.
The offer of the ultimate gift—from God—is still ours to accept. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:17-18). A vast number of people will face judgment because they never “lined up to see Jesus” on earth. They never acknowledged their need to accept him as their Savior.
Christmas is a wonderful time to “get in line to see Jesus,” while you can still respond to his amazing offer. You can express your response to his offer in words like these, spoken from your heart: “Dear God, I admit that I’ve sinned against you many times. But I’m convinced that when Jesus died he was taking the punishment I deserve for my sins. I believe he is the only way that I can be completely forgiven. Thank you for forgiving my sins. I accept your wonderful gift of eternal life. Please help me now to live a life that pleases you.”
You’ll never regret “getting in line” to see Jesus!
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