What do you want for Christmas? The fact that we often have to think hard to come up with items for our list shows how blessed we are.
But there is something that we all need, and God sent His Son so that we could have it – life.
Obviously, everyone reading this has life, so what is the Bible talking about here? It’s talking about a new kind of a life – a life that comes from God. The Bible calls it eternal life. What’s it like?
A life that gives us a new connection
When God created Adam and Eve at the beginning, they enjoyed friendship with Him, but through their rebellion they were separated from Him, and the Bible calls that death (Genesis 2:17). That is the condition we all are in because of sin (Ephesians 2:1). We are “alienated from the life of God” (Ephesians 4:18). So, although you have life, you don’t have the life God intended you to have.
You were created for something bigger and better than anything this world has to offer. You were created to know and enjoy friendship with God – the source of love and goodness – and you can never experience real life until you are reconciled to Him.
God sent His Son to deal with the barrier of sin that separates us from Him, so that we can be brought into a living, loving relationship with God. Jesus said to His Father, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
A life that gives us a new direction
I got a phone call one day from a woman who was interested in becoming a Christian, but she said she didn’t think she could live the Christian life. I told her she was right, she couldn’t, but no one could. No one is naturally able to live the Christian life. But I couldn’t live a bird life either. I can’t do the things birds do – I don’t like worms, I can’t fly, I can’t sit on a telegraph line – I could never be a bird. But if I could somehow be born again as a bird then the things that birds do would come naturally to me.
It’s the same with Christianity. God doesn’t call on you to live the life, He invites you to take it – it’s a gift (Romans 6:23). If you receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, you will be “born again” (John 1:12-13) – you will receive new life, so you can live as you never could have lived before. There will be a power available to you that will enable you to be free from the things that hold you now, and to enjoy things that now hold no appeal. This is one of the great proofs of the truth of the gospel – it doesn’t just promise heaven when you die, but new life now, and millions can testify that the gospel delivers on its promise – it not only saves souls but changes lives and satisfies hearts.
A lot of people think life ends when you become a Christian – everything will be dull and dreary. Every Christian will tell you, that’s when real life begins. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Hail, the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
‘Glory to the new-born King.’”
Photo credit: Beth Jnr