By Charles Wages
Time is very important to God, but only as it relates to “His time” not the chronological cogitations and calculations of man. Sometimes men get carried away with “when” Christ was born and are prone to forget “why” He was born. Why did Christ come into this sin-cursed, impoverished world? This question must be carefully considered in depth, for it involves many purposes.
He Came to Fulfill God’s Prophecies Concerning Israel
The well-known and oft-quoted passage in Isaiah 9:6-7 speaks of His taking the government upon His shoulder and sitting upon the throne of His father, David.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Note that nothing is prophesied of His being the Head of the Church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18).
The lengthy words of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, in Luke 1 speak of Christ’s coming to fulfill the great expectations of God’s people, Israel.
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began.” (Luke 1:68-70)
We find out from the gospel accounts and the book of Acts that His people Israel never really understood, believed, or accepted this wonderful Person, their Christ and Redeemer. They crucified Him! (Acts 2:22-24). They did not and still do not accept why He came.
He Came to Seek and to Save That Which Was Lost
However, we know, as has already been stated, that there were a multitude of reasons for Christ’s coming into the world, even if we don’t know when exactly. The Lord Jesus, while in the house of Zacchaeus, said very simply,
“For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
It seems as if He was enlarging upon this great truth of salvation. It was not just Israel, but the whole world was in His heart. It is remarkable to read what the Apostle Paul had to say in 1 Timothy 1:15,
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
This verifies the words of Jesus in Luke 19:10 and makes it ever so personal. Not just sinners in general, but a sinner in particular. This is what everyone needs to do. Not just to think of a birth on a certain day; not just the “world” given a time to celebrate; not just a time of economic boom, but of sober and serious reflection of our sinful state and our inability to save ourselves. He came to die for our sins. He came to die for the Apostle Paul’s sins. He came to die for my sins.
He Came to Reconcile All Things to Himself
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).
Note that “in earth” relates to God’s earthly people, Israel, while “in heaven” relates to His heavenly people, the Church.
How did He accomplish this? We are told in Colossians 1:22,
“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.”
What a purpose! What an answer to, “Why did Christ come?”! We need to see that God’s great sacred secret, concerning the Church, which is His body, has now been revealed. This was accomplished by His death on the cross, His burial, His resurrection, and His ascension into glory. He is there now, officiating as the Head over His body, the Church (Eph. 1:19-23). When we come to realize why He came, why He died and arose, and believe it in our hearts, His wonderful birth becomes so much more meaningful. One doesn’t have to know when He came in order to be saved. One doesn’t have to celebrate a day in order to be saved. However, none will ever be saved from sin until they know why He came and accept it in sincerity and truth.
How thankful we should be that He was born, lived among men, and died for the sins of the whole world. His birth means so much more.