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Christmas is all about a tree. But it's not the tree that you decorate. There's another tree that Christmas is all about.
Even before the foundations of the earth, there was a tree in Jesus' future, and from the first breath that Jesus took, every step he took was marching toward this tree.
This was not a tree of happiness; this was not a tree of joy. This was not a tree that you would celebrate. Nobody would ever want to be any part of this tree but Jesus. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus approached this tree with joy.
That tree is not an evergreen; it was a cross.
Jesus knew when he came to earth that the Cross was his destiny. When the angels sang, their song of joy was really about the Cross. When the wise men searched for Jesus, they were searching for One who would hang on a cross.
There was no other way for what was broken inside of human beings to be fixed, other than the Cross. And so Jesus came. He didn't come as a reigning king; he didn't come to be celebrated. He came to suffer and to die.
Every step he took brought him to the Cross. That cross was an essential part of everything that God had in mind for human beings, because what was broken at the Garden - the separation of sin - had to be dealt with.
There had to be One who would live perfectly, who would die acceptably, who would rise again conquering sin and death, in order for us to have forgiveness, acceptance with God, power for living, and eternal life.
My prayer is that when you look at your well-decorated tree, you would remember that other tree on which Jesus hung.
Your tree that you decorate can't give you life. That other tree is a source of life.
Christmas is a story about that tree, and the One who came to hang on that tree, to satisfy God's requirement, so we would know life abundant and life forever.