Then He spoke these ponderable words: “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin” (v.22). These words are worthy of much contemplation: “If I had not come…”
About 100 years ago, someone published a remarkable Christmas card entitled “If Christ Had Not Come.” The card pictured a minister falling asleep in his study on Christmas morning dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
He saw himself walking through his house, but as he looked around, he saw no stockings hung on the chimney, no Christmas tree or wreathes of holly, and no Nativity with the Christ child to bring joy and gladness that his Savior was born. He walked outside and saw no church with its cross-adorned spire pointing to the heavens, and he heard no church bells ringing out the glad tidings, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” When he came back into the house and sat down in his library, he realized that every book about our Savior had disappeared.
Then the doorbell rang and a messenger asked him to visit a friend’s poor dying mother. When he entered their home, he saw his friend sitting and weeping, and he said, “I have something here that will comfort you.” He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise from the book of John, but was shocked to see that it ended with the book of Malachi. There were no Gospels and no promises of salvation, hope, or the resurrection. All he could do was bow his head and weep with his friend and his mother in bitter despair.
Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted her funeral service, but there was no message of comfort, no words of the glorious Resurrection, and no promise of a mansion awaiting her in heaven. There were only the words: “from dust to dust, and ashes to ashes”, and one long, sad, eternal goodbye. Finally he realized that Christ had not come, and he burst into tears, weeping bitterly in his sorrowful dream.
Then suddenly he awoke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard the choir singing these words from his church nearby: “O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem! Come and behold Him, born the King of angels, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
Think About It…
If Christ had not come, how different our world would be. Consider the fact that there were no hospitals or nursing homes or old folks homes before Christianity. Think of how many hospitals and charities were established and are funded by Christians. (There are of course many that were established and are funded by Jewish charities.) Do we have any idea of the billions of dollars and benevolent deeds that are spent and done every year at Christmas? Where did all this “goodwill toward men” come from? How many lives are brightened at Christmas because in honor of God’s gift, His Son, to the world, we reach out to the homeless, orphans, widows, the abandoned and the hopeless, with charity, aid, food, shelter, toys, and above all, kindness and love.
If Jesus had not come, there could only be lights on trees and window frames, but there would be no Light of the world to shine in the darkness of men’s sinful hearts and lead them into the marvelous light of God’s grace and mercy. There could only be fond but fading memories of departed loved ones, but no joyous hope of a glorious reunion, because there would be no resurrected Christ to declare: “Because I live, shall you live also” (John 14:19). We would never have the joy of looking into the angelic face of a child dressed with white gown and golden garland on her head, swaying back and forth with cradled arms, singing “Away in the Manger.” There would be no shepherds frocked in bathrobes and head scarves, no Wiseman from afar, no Mary and Joseph to hear the angels say, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Because if Jesus had not come, there would be no Savior. There would be no salvation, no way to be reconciled to God, no way to redeem ourselves from Satan’s power to steal, and to destroy and his authority over death to kill.
But thank God, He has come! And He said: “I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). For He said: “I am come to call sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes in me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).
When He stood before Pilate, His life hanging in the balance, the people cried out for Him to be crucified. With great unease Pilate examined Him. He had never met anyone like this man, and he had already been warned by his wife who had a dream about Him, not to have anything to do with His death. Frustrated, he questioned Jesus over again: “Are you a King?”
Jesus answered: “You say that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37).
You Can Hear His Voice Today
If you want to know the truth, the truth is in Jesus. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). He is the only one who came down from heaven and returned and who has the authority over death and hell. To all of those who seek to know truth, He is the way home — the Father’s house. Before He left, He made this promise:“Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). *Adapted from Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowan, Zondervan 1997. For more articles by Sharon, visit http://sharon.rghardy.org/ To Our Readers & Supporters: Thank you for your faithful support of FIA. Warmest Christmas Blessings to you in Jesus’ Holy Name! Bro.& Sis. Hardy & Sharon