Everyone loves a good story. The architecture of a great story speaks to the deepest longings of our hearts. Love never loses, goodness and truth always win, and at the most desperate point of need, a rescue comes. The Christmas message tells a story with these very elements, detailing God’s remarkable plan that starts with a baby in a manger and continues with a ministry that would forever change the trajectory of a broken world. This story climaxes with a cross, a rolled away stone and a promise to make all things new. Through his Word, God reveals this greatest story—from beginning to end.
“And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”Isaiah 40:5 (KJV)
How does knowing the whole story impact our present struggle? What hope does the message of Christmas offer?
1. Love never loses.
The desire of the human heart is to be known and loved completely. In Jesus, you are fully and absolutely loved. The Christmas message means you can have fellowship with God. The barrier of sin and death has crumbled. God has gone to infinite lengths to be near you. He became human in order to write himself into your story.
He calls you his own, and you have a unique identity. Your identity in Jesus is not an achieved identity—it is a received identity—not based on performance, but based on Christ’s love for you. His love does not wax or wane. It brings freedom, hope and healing. Jesus gives you a meaning in life that even suffering can’t take away. He said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 ESV). You are known and loved by the King of the universe, who has promised to be with you even to the very end.
2. Goodness and truth always win.
These days it feels as if evil is always winning. Living somewhere in the midst of the story, we are not in the final chapter. A future victory is sure and certain, though we navigate this broken world often in deep, soul-crushing grief that leaves us aching and crying out for mercy. With each struggle comes a new realization that our faith is small and easily squashed, and this leaves us crying out for help. Jesus is with us deeper than our deepest hurt. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33 ESV).”
3. We have a hero.
The fact of the resurrection—that Jesus died and rose again—is the ultimate message of good news and lasting hope. God sent a hero—not a hero that would just risk his life—but a hero that would give his life for our salvation. God is with you. When you come to believe and understand this reality, you can walk through life with an expectant hope. Isaiah 60:2 (NIV) assures us that God will fill us with his glory: “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”
Though worry, anxiety, and questions remain, they are not to be feared. Our heavenly Father holds all authority in heaven and earth in his hands. What is lost and broken not only will be restored, but will be made new. The restored creation will not just be a “fixer upper” project that God improves, but he will make all things brand new (Revelation 21:5)!
Driving past nativity scenes, Christmas music blaring in the grocery store, pine trees strapped to the top of cars, and houses covered with twinkling lights are all visible signs of Christmas. Jesus came to be with us as Immanuel. He gives us his Spirit and tells us, “Surely I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20 ESV). As we turn to God in faith and hope, we have peace because we know how the story ends. In the end, God will work all things for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28).
May this Christmas season offer you assurance and hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus, the one who was sent to redeem his beloved, triumph over evil, and rescue us.
WHAT’S UP? DISCOVERING THE GOSPEL, JESUS, AND WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Have you ever asked a middle-school kid you know what’s up with “the gospel”? Can they explain what it is and why it matters to a kid? What’s Up is a flexible middle-school curriculum workbook using illustrations, stories, and interactive activities to help kids understand why the gospel really is good news.