Have you ever wondered how Jesus views Christmas? What would He say about it? What would be the story He might tell? Of course, His story of the first Christmas is told in Matthew, Luke and John’s gospels. In a sense these stories are from Jesus’ lips because God is the source of Scripture.

Consider the stories given to us in such incredible beauty and emotion. Mary’s story of the angel announcing Jesus’ birth, her trip to visit Elizabeth, the birth itself, the visit of the shepherds and the manger in the humble stable. It is probable that the first chapters of Luke’s gospel give the essentials as Mary would tell them, but certainly she could give us greater details. If we talked with the shepherds, they could give us additional details and explanations regarding the angel announcement and their visit and the wondrous birth of Jesus Christ. The Wise Men have an incredible and marvelous story benefiting the occasion. Yet in all these narratives and stories, we do not have the Lord’s personal perspective on this momentous event.

Where is His story? How can we know what He would say, how He views this occasion? It isn’t in the gospels alone. There is a great deal in the Old Testament. One of the best passages disclosing Jesus’ view of this event is in the 40th Psalm. In the New Testament this story is repeated in these words in Hebrews. When Jesus came into this world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am — it is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:5-7).

This is the Christmas story according to Jesus Himself. He is being quoted here. What does He say?

First, Jesus emphasizes that He came into the world for a purpose. God has a purpose in everything He does. He doesn’t just flippantly decide to do things. He always has a purpose. Jesus emphasizes this specific purpose, deliberately and definitely saying, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

What was that will? As God, what was Jesus willed to do? God willed Jesus Christ to be our Savior, our Redeemer, paying the cost of sin for those who would be saved. Not all people will be saved, only those who come to Jesus and receive Him.

The most important thing about Christmas is God’s saving work. Jesus isn’t just God’s gift for us. He is the Savior, Redeemer. Jesus Christ came into this world as a little baby, born of a virgin, grew up to be a man, died on a cross according to the purpose and will of God, to be our Savior. He didn’t stay dead. He came back from the dead and lives today still carrying out the purpose and will of God. If we do not recognize this as part of the Christmas story, we fail to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

Second, emerging from these Hebrew verses is more than a sense of purpose. Jesus also came into the world with the knowledge that He was the perfect one to fulfill God’s eternal purpose.

A person may have a noble purpose, yet not be the one to fulfill it. This is evident in children many times. Children often are aware of what needs to be done and they may even want to do it, but the fact is they cannot do it. They will sometimes even say, “Here, let me do it! I can do it!” But they can’t do it. They may struggle to do it, but not accomplish what needs to be done. Wise parents will let them struggle, but then will help them fulfill the task. This was the case with Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world and had on his mind and heart the great purpose for which He was born — salvation.

He not only had this purpose in mind and on His heart. He was aware that He was the one perfectly suited for carrying out this great purpose. He was unlike anyone else who has ever been born. He was God and man. He became a man. He was not a man who struggled to become God. He was God who became a man. “You have prepared a body for me.” As John said in His gospel, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). As a man, Jesus died on the cross; as God, He experienced death in order to pay the infinite price for the salvation of His people. Then Jesus came forth from death to live again, the conqueror of sin and death. Jesus paid our great debt for sin. The Apostle Paul wrote, “God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that He might give to us His righteousness in Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:21). As the hymn writer said, “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

Third, in this passage in Hebrews, there is the joy expressed Jesus had in doing God’s will. This joy is expressed in many Psalms, particularly in the 40th Psalm. Psalm 22 prophesied what would happen at the cross. Jesus’ humiliation and sacrifice are described in great detail. Tucked into this description are these words — “You are holy, who inhabit the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:30. God lives in His people. Jesus did the will of His Father in bearing our sins and giving us His righteousness.

In Isaiah chapter 53 is the greatest declaration of this vicarious atonement, the death of one on behalf of another. At the end of that great chapter we find Jesus looking upon the travail of His soul saying, “I am satisfied” (Isaiah 53:11). Hebrews chapter 10 says that Jesus actually delighted to do the will of God in this sacrifice and purchase of our salvation through His dying. He died for our sins, but He came forth from the grave alive.

The reason the Christmas story is alive and vital is this very reason — Jesus is real. He is alive. It is a fact. So we celebrate Christmas!

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— You can send your thoughts to drjerryhopkins@yahoo.com, or by snail mail to Dr. Jerry Hopkins, P. O. Box 1363, Marshall, Texas 75671. Dr. Jerry Hopkins is a historian and retired professor.