Christmas Eve Sermon
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Jesus is the reason for the season. You have undoubtedly seen various signs, billboards, and maybe even received Christmas cards with this message. That’s all well and good. It is true. The reason why we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus, the Son of God, was born of the virgin Mary. God took on human flesh. Christmas certainly is about Jesus.
Christmas is not just about showing up for the Christmas Eve service and doing some carolling. It’s not just about expecting more from Jesus than from Santa Claus. It’s not just about Christmas traditions. It’s about remembering why Jesus came to earth.
Jesus came for us. As promised to Adam and Eve, Jesus came to crush the serpent’s head. Our enemy, the devil, who seeks night and day to destroy us and bring us to hell with him, has been defeated by Jesus. Jesus died for all of our sins on the cross and rose victorious. That’s why Jesus came. He came to save us from our sin.
We should not neglect this forgiveness. We should take the devil seriously and our sins seriously. We should flee the devil’s temptations which entice us to do whatever we like while despising God’s Word that calls us to repentance. We should abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against our soul (1 Pt. 2:11).
That’s why Jesus came. He came to save us from ourselves and these passions that rage within us. He came to earn forgiveness for us for all the times we have fallen into sin.
We see how serious our sins are when we see that Jesus was crucified for our sins. Our sins are so significant that it took nothing less than the blood of Jesus to pay for them. For us to be free of our sins, it required the suffering and death of God Himself.
See, we are the reason for the season. We are the reason Jesus came. He came to save us sinners from our sins. Everything He did was for us. Everything from His conception to His ascension into heaven was for us. And He still does everything for us. He still gives us His Law which shows us our sins so that we would turn away from them. He still gives us His Gospel which tells us that our sins are forgiven because of His death. Jesus still gives us His true body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins in Holy Communion.
Like Isaiah writes, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.” (Is. 53) But Jesus hasn’t left us out there wandering from Him. He has sent His Word to turn us around and bring us back to Him. He brought us back to Himself by bearing our griefs and carrying our sorrows. He was stricken, smitten by God and afflicted in our place. He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. He was the offering for our guilt. Because of Jesus death for us, we now have peace with God (Rom. 5:1). We no longer have to fear divine punishment for our sins. We no longer have to fear death. The Good Shepherd has brought us back to Himself.
And it’s not just Christmas time that we need reminding of this. We need to hear of the forgiveness of our sins continuously. The devil loves nothing more than to keep us away from God’s Word by all means necessary. No excuse is too weak for the devil. So flee this temptation. Hear and read God’s Word regularly. Receive God’s forgiveness regularly. Receive the strength that God gives through His Word.
We are the reason for the season. We are the reason Jesus came to earth. We are the reason Jesus died. We are the reason why Jesus still sends His forgiveness. We are the reason that Jesus is now preparing places in heaven. So yes, remember that Christmas is about Jesus. But remember also why He came: He came for you. Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.