Does Jesus Only Care About Your Soul?

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

We really messed things up long ago. Keep in mind that God created everything good – no death, no shame, no blaming, and no natural disasters in this world. It was all perfect and good.  However, after the temptation of the evil one in the Garden of Eden, we humans were the ones that gave into deception and opened the door to this great corruption of sin.  God cannot be blamed, for the blame falls solely on us.

And this sin?

Well, it is a disease that permeates our whole being, as you and I already know. At every level of society, sin wreaks havoc. Sin has corrupted our relationships, our jobs, and those in leadership.  It has poisoned our bodies, minds, and souls bringing forth death.  It has even affected the creation of the world. No wonder why we all grown in this life – we all sigh along with creation due to the effects of sin upon everything we can see, touch, feel, and think about. 

Now, if we could compare this life to an illustration, perhaps we could use the illustration of a sinking ship with precious cargo. The ship is leaking, the engine will not start, the rudder and steering wheel will not turn, and the sails are ripped.  It is a disastrous, treacherous, and a hopeless situation.  When one hole in the ship gets fixed another hole springs a leak. As soon as one of the sails is sewn, another one rips. When the engine is working, the rudder does not turn, and when the rudder turns, the engine does not work. 

Considering this dilemma, we have to conclude that there is only one solution, and that is to get the precious cargo off of the ship.  That is to say, the ship is too far gone, which means that the only solution is for another boat to rescue the precious cargo off of the sinking ship.  And the sinking ship? Well, let it sink. Let it break apart in the water. As long as the precious cargo is evacuated, who cares about the ship.  It doesn’t matter; it can sink to the depths of the abyss.

Now, dear friends, the reason for using this illustration on Christmas Eve is not to entertain you or keep your attention but to make a comparison and then ask a question. 

First, the comparison; you and I believe, teach, and confess that the story of Christmas is about Jesus coming to humanity because everyone and everything is sinking in sin. Like that second boat that came to rescue of that sinking ship, Jesus came that Christmas long ago to rescue humanity because of the problem of sin.

And now to our question.  Was the purpose of Jesus’ Christmas-coming to rescue your souls out of this sinking world unto Himself?  In other words, does Jesus look at creation and your dying bodies and see it like a sinking ship, while saying to Himself,

“It is time to evacuate the ship of the precious cargo. I will go to rescue some souls and let everything sink into the abyss.”

Dear friends, be careful not to let this brush over you.  This is not a small theological point. This is not an unnecessary intellectual distinction.  We must be very alert and attentive right now. 

You see, if the Lord considered this created world and your bodies as a disastrous and treacherous sinking ship beyond hope, well… Jesus would not have had to come and put on human flesh.  Christmas would have been unnecessary.  In other words, if Jesus only wanted to rescue the precious cargo of your souls from dying bodies and a decaying world, He perhaps could have done this without being born in Bethlehem.  He perhaps could have pulled your souls out of your bodies to heaven with a simple command and let the rest of the creation and your bodies sink.

But this is not how it is, dear friends.  Christianity is not an evacuation from this world into some mystical fantasy. The purpose of Jesus coming was not to pull us out of our dying bodies and pull us out of this sin-sick world but for Jesus to come from heaven above to redeem everything.  It is and always has been about heaven coming to earth, and that is why Jesus needed to put on human flesh.  Remember, your bodies and this created world matter to the Lord. 

That Christmas long ago, when Jesus took on human flesh and blood in the womb of Mary, He did so to come and be in this sinking disastrous world of sin.  He was not content to let it all sink.  He was not content to let you sink into the abyss of hell as well.    And so He needed to put on flesh and blood so that he could walk in our midst as fully God and fully man.  Using our illustration, Jesus needed to come aboard the sinking ship and place Himself right in the middle of our treachery, disaster, and hopelessness. 

What this means is that Christmas is all about our Lord Jesus Christ not being content to leave humanity sinking in sin.  Our Lord Jesus Christ did not look down on our sin-sinking-world with apathy saying,

“Oh, that’s too bad!  I sure hope they can get out of their predicament.” 

But instead, Christ came to us and put on human flesh to experience our misery and helplessness Himself.  The Lord Jesus Christ neither flinched nor turned His head away from humanity and this sin-sinking-world but dove right into the midst of it by being born to the Virgin Mary and being laid in a manger.  He put Himself right into the middle of harm’s way – for you.[1]

And as God in the flesh, Jesus does only what Jesus can do, which is to redeem all things infected by sin, not with gold or silver, but with his precious blood on the cross.  He redeemed you – all of you.  He redeemed your soul and your body. 

And so, Christmas not only grants you assurance in the present because Jesus put on flesh to be among us, but it also gives you hope for the future.  You see the same flesh and blood that was born in Bethlehem and died on Calvary’s cross was also resurrected from the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father from which He will come again bodily to resurrect you.  And because the first coming of Jesus at Christmas and His second coming in glory are never far apart, you must know that you will be given renewed bodies too, just like Jesus.  And there is more!  When Jesus comes back a second time, all of creation will be made right as well, for He does not evacuate us from creation and our bodies that we messed up with our sin but redeems creation and our bodies – He redeems it all to give it back to you and me!  

The ship will no longer leak, the engine will start, the rudder will steer and the sail will blow with precious cargo because Jesus did not come to take you off of the ship  but came to redeem all things and make all things new.  He came to redeem all things and give them back to you as gift.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

[1] If Jesus is not God, you sink. If Jesus did not put on human flesh, you would sink.  Jesus must be both. He must be a man to suffer and die for you. He must be God for His death to count as payment for all your sins. 

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