September 11, 2001, was a tragic day, but also an amazing one. Tragic, because almost 3,000 innocent people lost their lives to acts of terror. Amazing, because of the many heroic acts to rescue others from the destruction and devastation. Fanatical terrorists were bent on taking American lives; had brave people not risked their lives to save others, the death toll would have been far higher.
Sadly, rescue efforts on 9/11 were limited from the very start. Most impact victims were already dead. Others would receive medical assistance too late to save them. Some were simply unreachable before the collapse of the Twin Towers. No amount of human intelligence, ingenuity, energy, or wisdom could have changed the outcome. Everything hinged on available resources and the time available.
Thankfully, human limitations don’t apply to the most important rescue mission ever conducted—rescuing the world from sin and death. December 25 marks the celebration of God sending His Son to save us from our sins.
Christmas is truly a day to celebrate. Jesus’ entrance into the world was a unique and significant undertaking for several reasons.
First, God entered the world as a human being. God could have come to earth in any fashion or form He desired, but He chose a most humble path. While still fully God, He became one of us, fully human but unmarred by sin.
Second, Jesus didn’t come just to live among us. Ultimately, He came to die, to be the perfect blood sacrifice paying the penalty for the sins of the whole world. His Resurrection established His authority over death, hell, and the grave. No other religion can make that claim about its false gods.
Third, Jesus came for everyone—the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the social elite and the downcast, the powerful and the weak. Your background is not a factor in God’s rescue for you. Neither is your skin color, gender, or any other factor that describes you. “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3,4, NIV).
God the Father wants every person to be saved. Jesus’ death on the Cross was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The Holy Spirit’s power raised Jesus from the dead, authenticating Jesus as Lord and Savior. In light of these tremendous truths, why won’t everyone go to heaven? Scripture reports a sad fact:
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him,
the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own,
but his own did not receive him” (John 1:10-11, NIV).
Friend, it’s a sad fact not everyone chooses Jesus. But God’s great rescue mission is ongoing. Billions of souls hang in the balance. God is no respecter of persons. He loves every person as much as He loves you and me.
This Christmas season, the most important questions in life still need to be answered. First, are you among those who are being rescued? Have you given your heart to Jesus? “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10, NIV).
Second, if you can answer the previous questions with a grateful yes, what are you doing to tell others about Jesus? Billions still need to be rescued. They need to hear about Jesus. They need to know that Jesus died for them. God has delegated that responsibility to you and me.
This Christmas, as you remember all that God has done to offer salvation for all, determine that you will fulfill your dual responsibility: to accept your Heavenly Father’s offer to save you for all eternity, and to point everyone you possibly can to that same immeasurable gift.