Why Do We Do Christmas? (Part 3)

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:54-58 ESV).

It is fitting for God to become human so that he might die; and, in dying he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil.” Not to put the devil out of existence, but to abrogate his ability to make death damning. The devil damns with one weapon: unforgiven sin. If he can accuse us in God’s court successfully and get a guilty verdict, we are damned. But in the death of Christ, God “cancelled the record of debt that stood against us . . . nailing it to the cross. He thus disarmed the rulers and authorities” — that is, the devil (cf. Colossians 2:14-15). He was disarmed in that the weapon of successful accusation was taken out of his hand. It was gloriously fitting, that he be destroyed in this way.

The Son of God became human to “deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” Now, when believers look into the dark face of death, they say, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (v. 15). No more fear. No more bondage. Such a life is fitting for us. When God pondered how to write the story of the universe, there was nothing outside of himself to guide him. He made his choices according to how all things “fit” into a design that would best reveal his fullness. He himself, and nothing else, established what is fitting, seemly, congruent, and beautiful.

Our call is to see the fitness of all God’s ways, and approve, and rejoice, and conform. Christmas happened because it was fitting. Now we get to spend eternity growing in our ability to see what God sees. The more you have the mind of Christ, the more you see the beauty of it all. Make this your aim in this season of celebration. Use every means possible, to see the seemliness of God’s way of salvation, and rejoice! Ours is the victory. Ours is the glory. Ours is the crown of eternal life. All of this happened because God was born in the flesh to two young people in a small town in the Middle East. Joseph and Mary were so struck by this that they could merely watch and store the experiences away for later understanding. We have the advantage of the centuries. We can see what God was doing then, because of what he has subsequently done! This is why we do Christmas!