December 24 I Tuesday
“Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.” —Luke 2:11
Christmas is a great time to remember the birth of Christ, but we will not understand the birth of Christ apart from His whole story. There are four essential events in the life of Jesus. The first is the birth of Christ, which is Christmas. The death and resurrection of Christ is the second essential event. The third is the ascension of Jesus on the Mount of Olives, where He returned to His Father 40 days after His resurrection. And finally, the fourth is Pentecost, which is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 10 days later. There is also a fifth equally important event that has yet to take place and that is the second coming of Christ to judge the earth. These are the cardinal facts of Christianity to which the creeds of the church have born witness for centuries. We need to know the big picture, for we can only understand the parts in the light of the whole. Christmas does not make sense without Easter, which does not make sense without Pentecost.
Jesus’s birth not only demonstrates what a true human being should be so we look at Him in wonder and admiration, but Jesus makes it possible for us to live as we are created to live. He came to bridge the gap between human beings and God, which necessitates His crucifixion.
If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need is forgiveness and salvation, so God sent us a Saviour.
Beyond Christmas and Easter is the gift of the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost for those who receive Christ into their life. This is what Jesus called the “New Birth.” His forgiveness of our sin is not just for the benefit of being clean but that He might indwell us with His Spirit.
This is why we will never understand the birth of Christ until we understand the death and resurrection of Christ. And we will never understand Christmas and Easter until we understand Pentecost, which is the whole purpose—that the gift of the Holy Spirit might be restored into our experience. The bigger picture of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost is so that God Himself may live within us as well as anyone who will receive Him. During this Christmas season, will we choose to receive Christ into our life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I choose this day to receive You into my life, knowing that You lived and died for my sin so that I may be found without blemish. Thank You for giving me Your Spirit the moment I believe. Praise You!