(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version).
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah prophesied some seven hundred years before it happened, that God was going to come and dwell physically with men, in a literal body of flesh and blood. Mankind was going to experience Immanuel —God with us. The God who had been above us and had been relating with us through theophanic appearances in spiritual bodies was finally going to take on human flesh and dwell among us as one of us. Mankind would be able to see and handle God—touch him, feel him and behold his glory in a way that would not kill us! We would finally see God and not die! That’s what happened in the first Christmas—God took on flesh in the incarnation, and was born by the Virgin Mary and dwelt among men. That’s the gift of Christmas. The greatest Christmas present therefore is not any material gift that any person can give you, however beautiful and glorious that may be. Any such gifts would only last for a while and their glory would fade and they would perish. The eternal and enduring Christmas gift has already been given to humanity—not by any Father Christmas, but by the Father of Christ, the Father of lights, with whom there’s no variation or change of ways. He gave us his only begotten Son that we may have eternal life and never perish. Until we possess that gift of God’s Son, we have not experienced Christmas the way God intended it!
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
1 John 1:1-3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
God’s reason for giving us his only begotten Son to dwell among us was so that he might pay the ransom for our sins and rescue us from the penalty of sin, which is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire, the second death. Jesus came to save his people from their sins. God gave us his Son so that whoever believes in him as Lord and Saviour would not experience the second death in the lake of fire, but would have everlasting life. That’s the purpose of Christmas —that we may have life and have it more abundantly! The Son of God did not just come to be with us, but to be in us. Jesus came, not just to dwell among us and die and return back to heaven, but he came to deliver us from our sins and to dwell inside of us by his Spirit, making us sons and daughters of God thereby. The greatest Christmas gift therefore is to have Jesus eternally present inside you —to be born again, to become a new creation, so that old things would pass away from your life and all things would become new with you. The greatest Christmas present is God making his abode in you. That’s the reason Jesus came to dwell among men in the incarnation. That’s the reason for Christmas!
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).
No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
John 14:23 Jesus answered him, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
He said to them, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.
John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
May you accept the greatest Christmas present God has offered you —his presence. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour that you might experience the everlasting presence of God in salvation and be in him and he in you forevermore!
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.