The Christmas season can be a time of celebration, but sometimes the stress from things to do and pain from people we miss leaves us to think that life might be easier without Christmas.
So I thought it would be helpful to imagine a world where Christ had remained in heaven. What if there really were no Christmas?
If there were no Christmas…
I. The Prophecies Of The Bible Would Be Left Unfilled
Jesus’ birth, death, and more were all prophesied hundreds of years before they occurred.
In Micah 5:2, it is said that Bethlehem, a little insignificant village, would be the birthplace of the Messiah. Seven hundred years later, when an executive order from the Roman government brings Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, the Savior of the world is born.
Jesus’ virgin birth was also a fulfilled prophecy. Had Joseph been the natural father of Jesus, He would have been ineligible to be the Messiah because of a curse on Jeconiah, one of Joseph’s ancestors. But Jesus was born of a virgin, meaning he inherited the legal right to the throne of David without the curse of Jeconiah. Only God could have thought up such a plan!
Christ’s death was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. It was said that He would be crucified with thieves, but His bones would not be broken, and that He would be buried in a rich man’s tomb.
In all, Jesus Christ fulfilled three hundred prophecies. He is the only person who could have fulfilled all of these prophecies, not by chance but by the plan of God.
II. There Would Be No Payment For Our Sins
If Christ had not come, there would have been no sacrifice for our sins. And had there been no sacrifice for our sins, you and I would have been estranged from God for all eternity.
You see, the Bible tells us that all of us are sinners deserving God’s punishment, and our sin is compared to a debt to God. That sin debt must be paid, but it’s so large that there is no way we can pay it ourselves.
That’s what Christ came to do. When he died on the cross he made the payment for our sins. That is why in John 19:30 He cried out, “It is finished.” In Greek, the word is tetelestai, literally meaning “paid in full.”
The most important decision you will ever make in life is to allow Christ to pay off your sin debt by entirely believing in Jesus to forgive you of your sins.
If there were no Christmas, there would be no one who could pay for my sins.
III. There Would Be No One in Heaven Who Really Understands Us
Not only did Christ’s humanity allow Him to fulfill prophecy and to be our sin payment, but Hebrews 2:17-18 says Christ’s humanity allows Him to sympathize with our problems. Jesus has experienced everything you have experienced. He has been tired, sick, tempted, betrayed by others, and even felt abandoned by God.
The Bible says in Hebrews 7:25 that as a perfect high priest He can plead our case before God. I don’t pretend to understand what this means and how it works, but I imagine Jesus is there to say, “Father, you don’t really understand how difficult it is down there for your children to live as you want them to in that sin-infested swamp called planet earth. But I understand how hard it is because I’ve been there.”
IV. There Would Be No Hope Of Life Beyond The Grave
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ answers that question. The heart of the Christian message is that because Jesus Christ conquered death, so will those who trust in Him for salvation.
Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
If Christ had not been born, then Christ could have not been raised from the dead. And if Christ is not raised from the dead, then we have no hope of being raised from the dead.
I realize that Christmas is a bittersweet time for many of you who have lost a parent, a child, or a close friend in death. You look back with gratitude for the Christmases you enjoyed together, but you also grieve over cold reality of their absence now. The fact that Christ came in human form and conquered death means that all of us who trust in him will also conquer death and that we will see one another again.
Because Christ DID come to Bethlehem, we have a Bible in which every prophecy has been fulfilled, we have Savior who has taken the penalty for sin, we have a sympathetic friend who empathizes with our difficulties, and we have a hope waiting for us beyond the grave.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me though he were dead, yet shall he live again.”