iStock_000057728318_Largeby Linda Veath

[Mary] will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins. ~ Matthew 1:21 NIV

Christmas. A baby in a manger. A baby who, according to the angel’s announcement, would save His people from their sins.

Would save us from our sins.

At Christmas time, we often forget about that aspect of Christ’s birth. We put aside the thought that this baby, born in the manger, would die. For us. Because of love. And grace. For you. And me. He would give His life for our lives.

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Christmas was the first step in Christ’s journey to the cross. A journey that culminated in Easter. But how many times at Christmas do we think of Easter and the events leading to it? Let’s change that this year by thinking about the words of Isaiah 53.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering …. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth…. though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, …. He poured out His life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. ~ (Isaiah 53:3 – 12 NIV)

Christ was born in a manger and destined for the cross. Because of love for you and me.