“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wisewill shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. Daniel 12:1-3 (NIV).
Resurrection and judgment. At the end of time, after Satan has been defeated, the dead will be arisen and all of humanity will be judged by the Lord. Those who put their faith in Him will live eternally with Him in love, peace, and beauty. Those who did not will take the places in hell that they chose in this life. In that place there will be pain, anguish, hopelessness, and an absence of peace that has never existed in our world.
On that thought, Merry Christmas. Yes, Christmas is about resurrection and judgment. It is about how God will resurrect ALL people who have ever lived and will submit us to His perfect justice. It won’t be about retribution, revenge, or punishment. Instead, it will all be about God delivering rewards that He has promised since Eden.
If you think about it, without Easter, without that resurrection, Christmas is a birthday party for just another guy. It’s just a day to spend with others, enjoy holiday food, and sing some annual songs. But without the Christ, Christmas is largely meaningless. And, without that same Jesus who dies on Good Friday and rises to permanently defeat sin, Christmas would be a pathetic and useless holiday.
The infant savior born in the city of David was born for this. It was the whole mission of His life. It was His reason for incarnating among us, being Immanuel, to do what we could not. He was born to live and die and live again so that we might put all our faith in Him and live again with Him. Unless we are alive on His return, each of us will die. It is a certainty. And if we die without having believed in Him, our lives will have been lived in meaningless self-pity. There’s a better way. An Easter and Christmas way. Remember that this week.
For further reading: Exodus 32:32, Psalm 56:8, Proverbs 4:18, Isaiah 6:7, Isaiah 26:19, Jeremiah 17:13, Matthew 24:21, Matthew 25:46, Mark 13:19, Luke 10:20, John 5:35, John 11:24, 1 Corinthians 15:42, Philippians 2:15, Jude 9, Revelation 16:18, Daniel 12:4
Lord, You were born on Christmas to be resurrected on Easter. It made all the difference in the world. Thank You for doing what we could not.
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