One December, a girl whose birthday was close to Christmas, was talking with Jesus and lamented, “With all the stress, busyness, and gift-giving of Christmas, I feel like I’m left out on my birthday. It just isn’t fair!” To which Jesus replied, “I know, I feel the same way.”*
It is not surprising that our culture would replace Jesus with a false deity. Materialism, power, and prestige have become the driving force of our culture, so it’s no surprise that the humble baby in a manger would threaten this. Instead of glorifying Jesus, we’ve venerated Santa Claus, and he’s coming to town:
“You better watch out, You better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town”
While many would try to paint jolly old Nick as a Christ-figure, he is wholly inadequate. It’s fine to have some fun at to be sure the original Saint Nick was a cool guy, but have you ever thought about how different Santa Claus and Jesus Christ really are?
|Santa Claus||Jesus Christ|
|A jolly old fellow who lives at the north pole||The Eternal God, Who created the North Pole (along with everything else in the universe). “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth…all things were created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)|
|“Making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice”||Keeps no record of wrongs. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)|
|Gives gifts that don’t last, made by slave labor||Gives the gift of eternal life and frees us from slavery to sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)|
|Only gives good gifts to those who are good||Gives freely of common grace to all, good or evil|
|Comes only once per year||He is always with us, “a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)|
|Says “You better not cry”||“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)|
Santa Claus rewards good behavior with gifts that will break or their batteries will die, but we’ll still want more. The gift of Jesus is so much more than that.
“He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake! “
Jesus knows we’ve been bad, but offers us His gift of righteousness instead. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Jesus is so significant because it is the only time in all history that God became a man — and He lived with us, He loved us, and He died in our place. No, no one else compares, not even Santa! Have you received Christ’s great gift? Or are you still trying to impress God with your own goodness, for goodness sake?
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!” (John 1:12) This Christmas, would you receive the true gift of Christmas?
*Thanks Pastor Joe Gross for sharing this illustration!
Video by Igniter Media