Day 31: Christ is the Gospel

Advent is over, the long-awaited Christmas day here. This waiting, hoping, anticipating has been not for an event or celebration — but a person. For the glory of Christmas is Christ. 

And just like it’s easy to miss the baby in the manger amid the gifts, lights, and celebration, so it’s often easy to miss that the gospel is about Christ. This good news we’ve explored so much is not a ticket to heaven, an escape from hell, or a solution to life’s problems. It’s about Christ. If the end result of the gospel has not been to change our hearts from hating him to loving him, we’ve missed the point. For how could someone who hates God and only wants to avoid hell enjoy the constant presence of Christ in heaven?

The gospel is sweet because it gets us Christ. He has given us a new heart to desire him, and so he becomes the center of our desire. I love how the Psalmist describes his heart: “the nearness of God is my good” (Ps. 73:28). Or the words of Jonathan Edwards, whose life demonstrated this reality perhaps more than anyone else I’ve read:

“God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory.”[1]

This Christmas Sunday, let’s not allow the festivities and gifts to distract us from the ultimate gift God has given us: Christ himself. We enjoy them all the more because He has given them to us, but at the end of the day, when the trees come down, the lights are unplugged, the wrapping paper is tossed, we have reason for lasting joy so far beyond the empty expectations of this world. For in the gospel, we have Christ. He is the gospel. May our hearts, prepared to anticipate him through advent, be filled with delight in Him this Christmas day.

[1] Jonathan Edwards, “God Glorified in Man’s Dependence.” See Ian Murray, Jonathan Edwards for an uplifting biography of a life lived in delight of God.

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