“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.””Matthew 1:21 ESV
During this Christmas season, millions of people around the world will celebrate the birth a fictional character. Oh sure, they will open their Bibles, and read stories about a man named Jesus. They will sing, they will pray, they will, even with tears of sincerity, give thanks for this fictional person. Why do I say that this person so many people celebrate and even dedicate their lives to is a fiction? Because the person they dedicate their worship to is not the Savior that the Bible describes.
Do not be fooled, there are similarities on a surface level that this fiction has with the true Person depicted in the Bible. For one, they share the same name. They were born in the same place. They even died the same way. But that is where the similarities end.
The Person described in the Bible set out to complete a definite mission given to Him by God Himself, and He did it. He did it all. He did exactly what He was sent to do and God was pleased with Him, and to prove that, God raised Him from the dead.
The fiction did not. The fiction set out to do a mission, but has failed that mission. The fiction was unable to do the work by himself, was dependent on the weak creatures he made to help him, and even then, they largely mock and reject him. My opinion-rightfully so. Who needs a savior that needs help? Who needs a savior that’s a failure? Who needs a savior that can’t save?
The Bible tells us that the Christ of God actually saved His people. Even the name of the Christ (Jesus) tells us specifically what He came to do-save His people from their sins. That statement contains two possessive pronouns-“His” and “theirs.” These terms indicate 1) a specific people (those who are His) and 2) a specific set of sins (the sins of the people who belong to Him). The Christ of God came to do to something specific for a specific people. He was called Jesus BECAUSE He would do this specific thing. The name is not arbitrary.
Did the Christ ever talk of this specific mission? Yes. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.””John 6:38-40 ESV
The Christ of God was not here on His own agenda. He came down, not to do His own will, but to do the will of the one who sent Him-the Father. Christ tells us what the will of the Father is-that He (Christ) lose none of all of those who were given to Him by the Father. Not merely was He to not lose them, but that those given to Christ should have eternal life, and that He (Christ) WILL raise them up on the last day.
Christ lives up to His name. He knows His purpose. He knows why He came-to save His people from their sins by His death.
“Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”Isaiah 53:10-12 ESV
Did He actually do what He came to do? Yes!!!!! He did!
“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'” When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”Hebrews 10:5-14 ESV
The Christ of God did exactly what His Father sent Him to do, and by His single offering of His own body on behalf of His elect, He has forever perfected them, having put away their sins once and for all by His one sacrifice.
Is this not the most amazing news you have ever heard? I know it is the most amazing news I have ever heard. Yet, I know that most people will not be hearing this news during this season. Instead they will hear a fiction, about a guy named Jesus who did his best and still failed. They will sing songs with this fiction square in the center of their attention, thinking that they have helped save themselves and helped Jesus be saved from embarrassment.
Cursed be that false christ. Cursed be the lie that is celebrated in most of the meeting places that have the audacity to call themselves temples of the Living God. They know nothing of the truth, and unless they are brought to repentance by God Himself, they will worship this false christ all the way to their destruction, convinced that this idol can save them.
I too once worshipped this idol. I too once sang his praises, and even told others about this idol, hoping that they would see that this idol was worth their attention. Of these things I am now ashamed. Of these things I now recognize my grievous error. I recognize my blasphemy against the true Christ by having worshipped this celebrated false christ for most of my life. But when God was pleased to reveal His truth to me, He turned me mercifully from that lie I loved so much, and brought me to the feet of His Christ. And I now I could never go back. I can now never pretend that this false christ is the same as the true Christ. Let men do what they will to me. I cannot return to falsehood after having been taught of God concerning His Son.
It is God who turns the lost elect sinner to Christ. The elect sinner does not do this. They cannot. They are dead in trespasses and sins. But praise God for the true Christ, who came to save His people from their sins, and give them eternal life. If you have been converted by God, praise Him for His tremendous mercy upon you. You have been saved from your idolatry, and turned by God to look upon Christ with an unveiled face.
“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”2 Corinthians 3:16-18 ESV