Rick Warren Daily Hope Devotional For December 25, 2022 : Topic – Behold Emmanuel, God With Us
“Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee.”
Matthew 28:5-7 (ESV)
If Jesus had not come back to life, then nobody in the world would be celebrating Christmas. Why? Because Jesus would’ve been a liar and a fake.
Jesus claimed to be God, which a lot of people in history have done—but only Jesus proved it. He defeated death by raising himself back to life.
The resurrection is the most important event in history—so significant that every other event in history is dated in relationship to it. It’s even more important than Christmas; without the resurrection, Christmas wouldn’t matter.
On that first Easter morning, several women who loved Jesus came to his tomb to anoint his body with spices. A large stone had been placed at the opening of Jesus’ tomb. Suddenly there was an earthquake as an angel of the Lord came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone, sat on top of it, and said to the women, “‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee . . . So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
“And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me’” (Matthew 28:5-10 ESV).
Jesus didn’t immediately return to heaven after he came back to life. Instead, he spent the next 40 days meeting and eating with people. He even preached a sermon to 500 people!
After 40 days, Jesus gave these last instructions before he went back to heaven: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV).
God came to Earth at Christmas because he is Emmanuel, God with us. And he is still with us today.
Through his birth, death, and resurrection, Jesus showed you how much he loves you. And he promises to be with you today, no matter what you’re going through. You are not alone.
Behold, the best news ever!