For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6, nkjv).
We cannot appreciate the glory of Christmas unless we understand the depth of the problem it solves. Our dilemma is what, left to ourselves, we give “unto God.” But the glorious solution is what He has graciously given “unto us.”
First the problem—the bad news: We are all sinners by deed and nature; dead in our trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1–3); hopelessly separated from our only hope—the God of the universe, our Creator. We have a condition called total depravity. “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness” (Isaiah 59:2–3, esv). Everything about us is marred by sin.
We cannot save ourselves, or participate in our salvation in any way. In our own strength we are not able to convert ourselves or even prepare to convert ourselves. Not only can we not rescue ourselves, we can’t even get warmed up for it.
And it gets worse: God cannot have any depravity in His presence. Not even a little. We might put on our best Christmas sweater, but inside we are still that dark, sinful-natured, totally depraved person. We can’t dress that up.
The story could have ended here, and what a tragic story it would have been. But God, in His great mercy, didn’t want to leave us there—separated from Him, dead in our trespasses and sin. God wants us to be His sons and daughters, so He did something completely unexpected. God sent His Son so we don’t have to stay in this sinful condition but can actually be redeemed.
And that’s the good news of Christmas: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
With the birth of Jesus, God broke the downward spiral. We said, “I don’t need You. I don’t want You. I’ll do what I want.” So His perfect Son stepped into the vortex of our sinful condition and offered not retaliation, but reconciliation.
Christmas is God’s move. It’s the message the angels sang about in the sky over Bethlehem two thousand years ago, and it’s the message of the Gospel: “For God so loved the world, that he gave” (John 3:16a).
What we offer unto God? Stubborn, sinful, rebellious rejection.
But unto us? A Child is born. A Son is given.
Father, thank You for the great truth that You gave Your Son to come and solve my biggest problem. Give me a renewed gratitude for this gift. Thank you that I am not the sum total of my failures. Even though I’ve done things I’m ashamed of and deeply regret, I’m here today, forgiven, because of the grace of God to me in Jesus Christ. Thank You for loving me and sending Your Son. Unto me a child is born! Unto me a Son is given! Thank you, God, that You did something so different, so humble, so personal, and that in Your Son you give me life and hope. I pray in the great name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.