For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. -Isaiah 9:6-7
We live in an age, like every age before, that is longing and looking for some Savior. Language is awash in Messianic fervor, whether politics, movies, music, or religion. Humankind is perpetually seeking salvation. Like the saying “looking for love in all the wrong places,” we often seek a Savior and salvation in all the wrong people or places.
One of ServeNow’s Basic Series books is titled: The Basic Thing You Need to Know About Salvation. The author of the book writes this about mankind’s pursuit of salvation: “I think it’s important to mention that the word salvation is not specifically a “Christian word.” Several religions mention salvation. However, their understanding of salvation differs from the understanding we get from the Bible. For example, Muslims think of salvation as a paradise where all spiritual and bodily desires are fulfilled. The Hindus see salvation as liberation from a cycle of rebirth to an expanded outlook, while for Buddhist’s salvation is reaching Nirvana-a transcendental, blissful, spiritual state of nothingness where you become a Buddha. Marxists see salvation as a reconstruction of society in such a way as to make it the basis for man’s true return to himself. In general, people see that things are not as they should be and inherently feel the need for salvation.” (Dunberg, pg.5).
Enter “Christmas,” the birth of Jesus. God took on human flesh to bring salvation to human beings. The Son of God was born to make us sons of God. A child from God was sent to make us children of God. The birth of Jesus into our world was so we could be reborn into his family. His coming to earth to be with us was so we could come to heaven to be with him for all eternity. His breaking forth into human history was our breakthrough to divine salvation. The birth of Jesus marked a new beginning not just for God in human flesh but human beings in relationship with God. His act of love and sacrifice was our answer to sin and shame. His innocence was our cleansing. His poverty was our riches. His purity was our redemption.
But Jesus’ coming into our world was just the beginning. Many prophecies preceded his first coming. His second coming contains even more promises. His birth as a child is also a guarantee of his future return as King.
Even the song Joy to the World, while becoming a song we sing at Christmas, is more a song about the second coming of Jesus. True and lasting joy will come on earth when he returns as rightful King to rule with perfect justice.
Jesus is the king humanity is seeking. And Jesus the King comes with a Kingdom. Jesus was always talking about the Kingdom of God. Every miracle, healing, deliverance, and act of love was about the kingdom of heaven breaking in as well as breaking down the kingdom of darkness.
Christmas is not just about a child in a manger. It’s about a King who will come again to rule and reign. We are not just preparing our hearts to celebrate his birth as a baby. We are preparing our hearts for his return as King. Therefore, as 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.” And as the bible itself ends with, “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” -Revelation 22:20-21