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As we approach Christmas, it is only appropriate that we look at the reason we celebrate Christ.

For the Christian, this event, coupled with the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, forms the foundation of our faith. You can’t have one without the other.

The incarnation of Christ, in which God became flesh and dwelt amongst His creation, has rocked man from its inception. God becoming man, yet never losing His deity. It is not man becoming a god but God becoming a man. Theologians describe Christ as being truly and fully man and truly and fully God.

Why would God do this? What was His purpose? What moved our Triune God to have Christ dwell on Earth and become what we all need, a Lord and a Savior?

The Scripture is clear regarding His motivation. In John 3:16, Jesus says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. This verse by itself shows us His incentive, a divine love outside our experience, demonstrated when He sent a Son, the Messiah, who would be the Savior of the world.

Now put that divine love in context: It came while we were still sinners. Though we had alienated ourselves from Him, Jesus still came. Though we had committed sin and rebellion against God, He still came. That is profound. Who loves like that? God does!

This truth is stated in verses such as Romans 5:8, where Paul says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “God demonstrates His own love toward us” — that again, beloved, is His motivation. The depth of His love for us is unthinkable.

What have you done to be shown this kind of favor? Of course, the answer is that there is nothing that you can do to earn this love that God has for you. If anything, because of our sinful state of rebellion against our Creator, we deserve judgment; we deserve God’s wrath. That is justice for our sinful souls.

In spite of that, God demonstrated His love toward us by sending Christ Jesus. No wonder the world stops and celebrates Jesus’ coming at Christmas and His resurrection at Easter. God’s love is given through Christ; it is demonstrated in His death and resurrection.

Beloved, it is easy to see in the Bible that the type of love that Christ exemplifies is not an emotion but a love so deep that it was purposeful; it left an impact. The greatest thing your soul needs today is to know Jesus Christ and the divine depth of His love for you.

As for the cost, what did it cost Christ Jesus to come? The depth of anybody’s love is shown by the sacrifices that are made to express it. There was a price for Jesus to give a love to us that we don’t deserve. The depth of that love is immense, free, and overwhelming at times. For Christ gave the highest degree of love that anyone can give — His life. He gave His life for us so that we might be saved and live. He died so we could escape the righteous judgment of God and the due penalty of His wrath for the sins that we have committed.

For God to be just, He must punish sin; He has to exercise wrath against all unrighteousness, or He is not just. Jesus took the punishment, the wrath and judgment we deserved, when He died and resurrected from the dead and ascended on high.

Ephesians chapter 5, verses 1–2, says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

Can you see what Paul is doing? He is pointing to Christ’s death on the Cross to show the depth of His love for us. Because of that, you and I, through faith, experience that love, the fruit of the atonement.

Jesus, amazingly, gave Himself. He said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”

In other words, the height of divine love is to choose suffering and even death for the sake of another. That is the highest act of love.

Now get this, beloved: Jesus did exactly that. He died for you; He suffered for you. He considered the cost and came in a humble way and laid down His life for you and me. That is what our sin(s) cost — God, giving himself on a Cross to pay for all our sins. That is the weight of His love for you and me. It came with a motivation and a cost.

Come to Him today and receive His gift of divine love and salvation. You do that through faith and repentance, turning from your sin and to the sin-bearer, who demonstrated His love for you by dying on the Cross to take your punishment.

Come to Christ this Christmas.

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Dr. Bear Morton shepherds Christ’s flock at Magic Valley Bible Church. For mor information, go to mvbibletf.org.

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