The title kind of gives away the message. On the flip side, it is a question worth pondering. What if Jesus Christ had never became flesh and was born? What if God never clothed Himself in human flesh and dwelt among us? What if?
Let’s look at some options. First off, the rather obvious: we would still be under the Old Testament. We would still have to offer all kinds of sacrifices, live by a ridiculously unattainable standard, and we would have to travel to Jerusalem if we wanted to truly worship our God. We would also never be able to say with certainty, “yes, I’m saved.” Why? Because Jesus Christ would not have died on the cross for our sins. Jesus wouldn’t have been resurrected on the third day to defeat the last enemy, death. If Jesus wasn’t raised, then the Apostle Paul says,
“For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:16-19, NIV).
Praise God for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
Let’s look at some no-so-obvious things. Women. Jesus was the first person to openly include women in the life of the religious community (Mk. 15:40-41). Jesus talked openly with them in public (John 4), shared meals with them, defended them (John 8), and treated them like family. Because of Jesus, the church learned the women are way more than objects and second class citizens—that women, just like men, have a role to play in the Kingdom of God!
Another not really thought about item is this: the hospital. Hospitals in some form or another, have been around for a long time—before Jesus, however, they didn’t function in the same capacity that we know today. In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea declared that a hospital be opened in every city there was a church building to extend the mercy, grace, and healing of Jesus to the poor, sick, and dying. Without the birth and life of Jesus millions of people world-wide would be left to die. Maybe a hospital has helped save your life or that of a loved one. It wouldn’t be there had it not been for Jesus.
Lastly, what about orphanages? Throughout the Old and New Testaments God has voiced rather loudly that he cares for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widows. Orphanages were established to give children a fighting chance to realize their God-given potential to overcome the odds and change the course of their lives. Think about it, we still have Mid-Western Children’s’ Home right here in our area! We have Potter’s Children’s’ Home in Kentucky. The church has been instrumental in fighting and advocating children’s rights and protection. Without Jesus, the desire would not have been there for us to even try.
Here’s my challenge to you. As you think through life this week, ask yourself, “What would my life look like if Jesus was never born? What about your children? Your spouse? How would it be different? What would the world look like? This kind of thinking, though challenging, helps develop a greater appreciation and gratefulness of God sending Jesus to die for us. Without Jesus, the world would be a significantly darker place. Thank God for Jesus’ birth! Just something to think about. – Scott