by Rick Warren — December 21, 2022
From Behold! The Best News Ever
“Christ Jesus . . . gave himself to redeem the whole human race. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved.”
1 Timothy 2:5-6 (GNT)
When Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to be dedicated at the temple, a really old man named Simeon was there. Simeon had been waiting his whole life to see the Messiah. He took one look at baby Jesus and said, “I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations” (Luke 2:30-32 NLT).
Jesus was a gift for all people—not just at Christmas but also when he gave his life on the cross to pay the penalty for sin. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “Christ Jesus . . . gave himself to redeem the whole human race. That was the proof at the right time that God wants everyone to be saved” (GNT).
One day, while John the Baptist was baptizing people in the Jordan River, Jesus came to him to be baptized. Here’s what happened: “John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29 NIV)
Without the cross—without Jesus being the Lamb of God—Christmas has no significance. If Jesus hadn’t died for our sins, he would have just been a good teacher or another philosopher with some good thoughts. Throughout history, good people and great thinkers have shared interesting ideas—but none of them could save you. The only way to have a Savior is for someone to die in your place.
In 2013, my wife, Kay, and I lost our youngest son to his lifetime battle with mental illness. It was the worst day of my life. In the grief of those dark weeks and months after Matthew’s death, it occurred to me that God knows what it’s like to lose a child. He had given his only Son for our salvation. That truth has been my hope in the midst of the pain.
It is your hope, too, and the hope of everyone who trusts in Jesus for their salvation. Jesus’ sacrifice is for everyone.
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15 NIV).