The story begins with the Christmas celebration of the birth of a baby.
The story ends with an empty tomb.
Let us not rush to get there, but let us not forget how this story ends.
We celebrate the birth, but the sting of death is coming.
Like all of us, the newborn baby will die.
Perhaps you’ve heard that Jesus died for our sins.
But here’s another way to look at Jesus.
He was born to demonstrate that God knows what it’s like to be human, to thirst, to hunger, to grow weary and to be sad and alone.
God took human form, not to pay a price that only God demands, but to show us that no matter how bad life gets, no matter how hard things are, God really understands how difficult it is just to make it day to day. God knows what it means to be frightened and to feel forgotten.
Jesus died, not for our sins, but to show us another way to live and to demonstrate that God is greater than death itself. Jesus died so that he could be resurrected, to overcome death and leave behind an empty tomb.
“I am the way,” Jesus says, “follow me, and you, too, will be greater than death. No grave will hold me down and no grave will contain your spirit, either.”
Jesus lived to teach us how to live. Jesus died and was resurrected to teach us that we, too, can live again.
This is the miracle and promise of Christmas.