We all know why we celebrate Christmas, don't we? We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ of course. Yes, but why is that significant? The average believer will be able to give you the normal answer. Jesus came to earth to die for our sin and so we can be saved. That is a more wonderful truth than we can ever fully appreciate, but is that it? Did Jesus come to earth, live a sinless life, die and rise from the dead so that we can have a ticket to heaven? The gospel is about so much more than that. In my dealings with a lot of believers, I have come to realize that most still don't really get what Jesus came to do.
As much as Jesus came to save, He also came to restore some crucial things. That means something was lost or stolen. What was that?
Right through the bible there is one specific word that features all the time in God's dealings with man.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” - Genesis 1:27-28
So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Genesis 9:1
Now the Lord had said to Abram…I will make you a great nation; I will bless you. And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” - Genesis 12:3
“Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the Lord blessed him. The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous.” - Genesis 26:12-13
Did you notice the word "blessed" there in every instance? The context in which it is used also gives us clarity on the meaning of the word. God blessed them to be fruitful and to multiply. To fill the earth and have dominion over it. To prosper and to make them prosperous. To protect and to increase them.
When you’re blessed you are empowered to be successful. God empowered them in every single way. The blessing then is God’s supernatural power that enables us to succeed.
These are some very early scriptures. The first one makes clear that the very first thing God did when He created humans, was bless them. Throughout the old testament one thing becomes clear though. This blessing wasn't available to everyone.
“Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him.” - Isaiah 51:2
We see God's blessing on individuals like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, Noah, Joseph, David, etc. So, why not everyone? Because this blessing in it’s original form was lost to mankind in the garden of Eden when man gave his dominion to the devil. God, in working to restore this, kept the blessing alive in selected individuals like Abraham. They were to pass it on to the next generation. Throughout the old testament though, the struggle to keep this blessing alive, becomes clear. It eventually seems to die a silent death when God is silent for 400 years. That’s until Jesus Christ arrived on the scene.
Jesus said the following:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” - John 10:10
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us… that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gentiles? Everyone that’s not part of the natural bloodline of Abraham. So, that’s all of us.
Jesus came to restore the initial blessing and thereby equip us with everything we need to live life to the full. Many christians believe that while they are on this earth they will need to suffer and that one day they’ll experience abundance and overflow in heaven. Once again, the “one day in heaven” mentality.
“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” - Luke 18:30
So, we’ll experience God’s blessing in the here and now, as well as in the age to come. The whole purpose of creating the earth and man was to establish heaven’s culture on earth “as it is in heaven.” Are there poverty, lack, sickness and broken relationships in heaven? So, why on earth would we have to wait for “one day”? Sure, we’ll face challenges. Jesus guaranteed it. But the blessing is loaded with everything we need to power through them and come out stronger on the other side.
The blessing entails so much more than what can be written in this one small entry. It makes up a very important part of the reason Jesus came. Because of Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to humanity, we are empowered to be successful in our souls, our health, wealth and relationships. Study the blessing throughout scripture. It involves success in every single way.
May this festive season serve as a great reminder. The Greatest Gift ever is even greater still. Jesus Christ, in whom we are greatly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved.
Have a blessed Christmas!