I love Christmas! Sometimes I wish we still did things like they did in England long ago, where the celebration continues through Twelfth Night. There is so much we can celebrate as we remember Jesus coming to earth as a baby.
This Christmas I was reminded again of the question: Why did He come?
John 3:16 says that God gave His Son because of His great love for the world of sinners. But why did Jesus choose to come? He actually answered that question Himself in John 10:
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” -John 10:10b (NIV)
“I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10b (NASB)
Jesus came so that we could have eternal life, and I am soooo grateful for that! But He also said in this verse that He came to give us abundant life, or life to the full. I’ve contemplated this verse for years, and continually asked, what is life to the full?
A lot of people today think a full life means fulfilling, productive, having more than we need, seeing our dreams come true…but I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant. I still don’t have a complete answer, or a learned theologian’s answer…but lately I have sensed Jesus whispering truth to my spirit that has helped me understand this idea of abundant life a little bit better.
I think Jesus came to give us life to the full –
full of peace
full of joy
full of hope
full of courage
full of grace
full of love…
full of all the things that only come from Jesus!
That’s the kind of life I long for in the here in the now – in the midst of trials and suffering, of injustice and tears, of weakness, doubts and fears…. Because Jesus came, I don’t have to live under the oppression of those things. Yes, they still exist and are still part of life on earth, but in Jesus I have something greater! I have fullness…I have an unending supply of peace, joy, hope, courage, grace, love...and everything I need. Even if my dreams aren’t coming true, if my life doesn’t feel productive, if trials never seem to end…I still have a life full of beauty that only Jesus can give.
Jesus came both to give us eternal life and to give us fullness of life while we’re on earth. What better gifts could there possibly be?
This Christmas and every day, may we remember that we are eternally and daily blessed, because He came!