Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year. The other day is Easter. These days remind us of our humanity, and how Jesus emptied himself of everything it meant to be God and became one of us. Humbly, as we all start out, he too started as a baby. Then, unlike any of us, he did what is impossible for us, and died on a cross then rose from the dead, providing the only available reconciliation between God and men. And he did this while we were still dead in our sins and of no use whatsoever to him. Truly, there can be no other way to God but through Jesus’ sacrifice. As Rick Warren said, if we didn’t need a savior, God wouldn’t have wasted the time to send one. But, I will go one step further… if a savior is unnecessary, then Christmas is the ultimately cruelty. If you could get to God any other way, through your many good deeds, your good looks, or your good grades. Through Buddha, Allah or Mohammed. Through Moses or Abraham. Through the spirits of the rainforest, or through Mother Nature herself. Through Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny or Saint Nick. Through the power of positive thinking, or a can-do try-hard attitude. If our reconciliation with God could be done in any way apart from Christ’s sacrifice, then the sacrifice is the greatest act of cruelty the world has ever seen. It would be irresponsible, unconscionable and immoral for God to have allowed his son (or, if you’re not quite there yet, his prophet) to die the cruelest way known to men if there is one single other possible route. And let us not even think about what this means if it’s not just one path, but all paths that lead to God as some now believe. Christmas and Easter are simply incompatible with any other system out there. You must either believe that they represent the most beautiful and loving sacrifice of a God that loves you so much, he was willing to die to ensure that there would be some way to reconcile with you. Or, you must believe that it represents the cruelest joke a god could play on humanity, sending someone to die when there is one, if not dozens, if not hundreds of other ways to come to God. I believe Christ’s sacrifice opened the way for reconciliation with God. He did this while we were completely useless to him, doing what we could never do ourselves. What a beautiful image. What a wonderful gift. Thank you Jesus. AJ PS: It may not seem like a very Christmas-y passage, but one of my favorite passages for this time of year is in Isaiah 53 & 54. This passage was written hundreds of years prior to Jesus, yet prophesies what eventually happens. I made a video based on a Newsboys song that quotes this passage. Watch it here.