“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45.
This passage cuts to the heart of why Jesus had to come. He came to give His very life to save ours. He was born into the world so that He could die for the world. Jesus came to rescue us: “What an agonizing situation I am in! So who has the power to rescue this miserable man from the unwelcome intruder of sin and death? I give all my thanks to God, for his mighty power has finally provided a way out through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One…” (Romans 7:24-25)
Jesus rescued us. He paid our debt. And the fact of the matter is He continues to rescue us. Think of it this way: After work, you walk over to your car to drive home. But your car won’t start because the battery is dead. You need a jump. There is nobody around so you call a friend and ask them if they could come and jump the battery. It’s late and it is cold, so you hate to bother them, but you really need their help. The friend grabs their jacket and heads out to help you in your time of need. That is a true friend because you matter to them. They are someone who can be counted on and that only deepens the friendship between you.
God planned to save us from the consequences of our wrongs and restore our relationship with Him. We can’t do this ourselves. Since we’re already imperfect, there’s no way to become perfect again. We can’t reach up to God, so He reached down to us by sending a Rescuer, Jesus.
God came to earth as a human, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself for us. Christmas is the celebration of the Rescuer arriving — a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Think about this: When God came to earth, He started out in the same weak and vulnerable state as the rest of us. Jesus lived a human life from infanthood to adulthood, with all of life’s challenges. He did what we could not: He lived a perfect life.
Jesus then opened the final act of the rescue plan. He sacrificed Himself to break down the barrier between God and people and restore our relationship with God. On Good Friday, Jesus sacrificed Himself by dying in our place. Jesus’ perfect life allowed Him to stand in our place and take the penalty for our wrongdoings. But why did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God just rescue us without a sacrifice? God is loving, but He’s also just, so He can’t ignore wrongdoing and its consequences. The ultimate consequence for all of our wrongdoing is separation from God, or spiritual death. Someone had to pay that price, so God came to earth in the form of Jesus to pay it for us. But the rescue plan doesn’t end with Good Friday. Jesus didn’t stay dead; His separation from God wasn’t forever. On Easter, Jesus broke free from death, coming back to life to complete the rescue mission.
I hope we celebrate Christmas this year for what it is – as a daring rescue and to fall in love again with our amazing Savior.
- Have you ever thought of Christ coming to earth as a rescue?
- What can we do this week to be thankful and grateful for being rescued?