The essence of Christmas was ultimately fulfilled at Golgotha. It wasn’t only the birth and the life of Jesus that brought salvation to the world; rather, it was His sacrificial death. If Jesus’ death had only been that of a shining role model, we could not attain redemption. His death would not have meant more than the death of Socrates or one of the martyrs. However, His death meant unequivocally more, based not on just anyone’s opinion but on the testimony of Jesus Himself and that of His apostles.
Accordingly, the death of Jesus means victory over all sin. He provides an atonement for all unrighteousness a person has committed and frees him from the fetters that ensnared him, which were forcing him to transgress. Instead, He grants a peaceful conscience from the past and bestows freedom and victory for temptations and struggles that are sure to come in the future.
No person is in a position to undo even a single action, nor pay back a single cent of his debt to God. All of us, without exception, would helplessly and hopelessly stumble towards an eternal damnation if… if it were not for Christmas, if that One had not been born that “Holy Night” who later fulfilled the promise: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
This Jesus took the entire debt and guilt of all mankind upon Himself. He carried everyone’s punishment, which we all deserved, on the cross of Golgotha and thereby atoned for our sins. “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
It must be said that the entirety of mankind is not in a position to better themselves of their own power. Neither the greatest efforts and willpower of man, nor the most successful methods of upbringing, nor the noblest rules of living or the deepest man-made religious rituals are able to change the inner being of a single person. By nature, every person is a slave of his own character. So many yearn for freedom like a prisoner, but all their waiting and efforts are in vain….yes, if we wouldn’t have Christmas! In a manger in Bethlehem, the One was born who later conquered all of the evil one’s satanic power on the cross of Golgotha.
He, Jesus, is the only One who can truly free slaves. “For He has broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two.” (Psalm 107:16). Jesus has paid the price for redemption at Golgotha for those who are violent, revenge-seeking, envious, sensitive, vain or conceited, greed-filled, and alcoholics, even the slaves in the darkest, deepest pits of addictions, which their depraved natures held them captive in. His death on the cross is therefore not only an example but a complete redemption and deliverance at once. In this manner, the Christmas promise of Matthew 1:21, “He will save His people from their sins,” was ultimately and completely fulfilled at Golgotha.