25 Dec God’s Exclusive Christmas Offer to You
December 25, 2017
You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
When people say that Christmas is not about gift giving, that is not true. Christmas is all about gift giving. It is about the greatest gift of all that God offers us. In Matthew 1:21, the angel said to Joseph, “You shall call His name Jesus.” Why? “For He will save His people from their sins.” Christmas is about God’s offer of salvation through Christ, the greatest gift of all.
In today’s world, there are many different vendors, so to speak, who are offering the same kind of gift. There are many religions that offer salvation. Those that don’t believe in the afterlife say, “Our religion can save you from the meaningless existence you are in right now.” The religions that do believe in an afterlife say, “You can only have eternal life by worshipping our founder or by keeping our list of requirements.” With all the potential spiritual vendors out there, how do we know that God’s offer of salvation through Christ is the best offer–and, in fact, is the exclusive offer of salvation? How do we know that God’s exclusive offer of salvation is true?
One reason we know that God’s offer of salvation only comes through His gift of Christ is the uniqueness of Jesus’s claims about Himself. What did Jesus claim about Himself?
Jesus claimed that He was God. Do you realize that Jesus is the only religious leader who ever claimed to be God? Muhammad, the founder of Islam, said, “Surely I am no more than a human apostle.” Moses, Confucius, Buddha, and Joseph Smith–none of those religious leaders claimed to be God. They simply claimed to point the way to God. However, Jesus said very clearly that He was God. In John 10:30, He claimed His equality to God: “I and the Father are one.” In John 14:9, He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” In Mark 14:61-62, the high priest, Caiaphas, asked Jesus, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am.” He didn’t equivocate; He didn’t stutter; He didn’t waver. He was saying, “I am the Christ.” Caiaphas certainly understood what Jesus was claiming. Mark 14:63-64 says, “Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, ‘What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?’ And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” Caiaphas and everyone there understood that Jesus was claiming to be God.
By the way, that is why Jesus was crucified. In Jesus’s day, you didn’t get crucified by roaming the countryside and telling people to turn the other cheek. It wasn’t Jesus’s nice teachings that got Him crucified; it was His claim to be the Son of God. To the Romans, it was treason to claim that there was any God other than Caesar. To the Jews, it was blasphemy to claim to be God Himself. Jesus is God Himself, the greatest Christmas gift ever given.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God’s Exclusive Christmas Offer to You” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2013.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.