Why We Should Receive Him.
At Christmas we celebrate that very first Christmas in Bethlehem. When they, welcomed Jesus Christ into the world. But why did they welcome Him?
And so many of our Christmas carols talk about receiving Him. For example, consider “Joy To The World” and the lyric, “Let earth receive her King.” What does that even mean?
These are the questions that so many unchurched and many de-churched people are asking when they attend our Christmas Eve services. Maybe not out loud, but they’re often thinking it.
Do we have answers? Do we have the right answers? I believe Jesus’ last words to His disciples, found in the Gospel of Luke, can help us answer these 2 important Christmas questions.
“44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them,
‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.’” (Lk. 24:44-48)
1. Why Welcome Him?
The People of Israel had waited for Jesus for a long time. At that point, they only knew Him as the Messiah. And Jesus reminds His disciples of that fact.
“…everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (24:44)
Each and every Christmas we have an opportunity to go back in time. What was it like for the Hebrew people to await the promised Messiah? What was it like to experience immense joy as Word became Flesh, in a baby boy named Jesus?
In all of this, we continue welcoming Jesus, the promised Messiah, within our Christmas celebrations. But that’s the easy part. Receiving Him is really the centre of the Christmas story.
2. Why Receive Him?
At the time of Christ’s arrival, the entire world needed the Messiah. Some knew that they needed Him and were waiting for Him. (Consider the Magi, who followed a star to find Him!)
There were some who rejected the Messianic prophecies. Others would not find out their need for the Messiah until years later. And some, when the time came to make a choice, believed in the prophecies yet rejected Jesus’ claim that He was the Messiah.
They crucified Him for it.
Thankfully, this was all part of the plan to redeem humanity. In Jesus last words to His disciples, he was clear on why He had to come, why people should receive Him…
“…that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…” (24:46-47)
…and why we still need to receive Him.
We Still Need Jesus
Why should we welcome Jesus into our lives? Why should we receive Him today? What’s the point? Why does it matter to us living in 2017?
The short answer is, “We still need Him.”
The words Jesus gave to His disciples over 2000 years ago are just as valid today!
Every person in the world has sin in their life that separates them from a Holy God. Through Jesus’ sacrifice we receive payment for our sin, so that we can be forgiven and made pure. In His resurrection, He conquered death and our sin with it.
To welcome and receive Jesus is to give everything over to Him. When we choose to receive Jesus, we receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. The receiving of this gift is what we ultimately celebrate at Christmas.
May this gift help you welcome and receive the Newborn King this Christmas.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
How can we keep Christ in Christmas without forcing people to accept Him? How can we explain Christ’s significance to our post-Christian culture?