Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why Christ's Birth is Significant

      I am sure that we all, as Christians, realize the true meaning of Christmas. But in the hubbub of getting gifts ready for our loved ones, baking cookies for our neighbors, going to plays and choir concerts and band recitals, and Christmas carols and shopping, it is possible to lose sight of the depth of its meaning. At Christmas we celebrate one of the most important events- arguably the most important- ever to take place in this world. Jesus Christ is of infinite worth in terms of our salvation, but His birth, specifically, was foretold by many in the scriptures and was (and is) absolutely essential.

        The literal birth of Jesus Christ holds great significance for all mankind. In looking at the big picture, we know that God's laws require justice. He would be an unfair God if there were no consequences for sin. Though, we are all sinners (in some form or another), so we all are in danger of punishment, condemnation, and eternal separation from God and our bodies. However, in His love for us, Heavenly Father provided a Savior for us to overcome sin (the Atonement) and death (the Crucifixion and Resurrection). The Apostle James E. Talmage wrote in his book Jesus the Christ,
Moreover, since by the transgression of one man sin came into the world and death was entailed upon all, it is consistent with reason that the atonement thus made necessary should be wrought by one.1
        Just as we must be held accountable for our sins by the law of justice, a perfect, ultimate sacrifice throws the balance. If one perfect being submits Himself to all pain and suffering for naught, the law of justice is mocked. It is Christ's perfection that made room for mercy- He was owed justice, and uses it to grant mercy to all who would otherwise experience the same payment for sin He already suffered.

Jesus Christ alone was qualified to be our Savior:

  1. -As the one and only sinless Man
  2. -As the Only Begotten of the Father and therefore the only Being born to earth possessing in their fullness the attributes of both Godhood and manhood
  3. -As the One who had been chosen in the heavens and foreordained to this service 2

The Apostle Paul taught,
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.3

        Christ needed to be born of a mortal mother so that He had the ability to die. But He also needed to be born of God to have power over death and sin- so that He would not submit to death until His "hour had come". His birth gave way to the possibility for redemption of all who ever have, or ever will, live on this earth. A reason for rejoicing, indeed.

        And so, each year, we celebrate the great love and wisdom of our Heavenly Father, and the love and willingness of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who,
[Descended] below all things, in order that He might raise others above all things; for if He could not raise Himself and be exalted through those principles brought about by the atonement, He could not raise others; He could not do for others what He could not do for Himself.4
And we look forward to the time when He who was once of lowly birth will return, with glory, to the earth.

Published by Jen
1. James E. Talmage, Story and Philosophy of 'Mormonism,' p. 111.
2. James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 20.
3. 1 Corinthians 15:22
4. Church President, John Taylor


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