In our family, one of the highlights of Christmas Day was sitting in front of the television at 3pm and hearing our late Queen deliver her Christmas speech. From the year 2000 onwards, her speeches seemed to take on a decidedly more Christian tone and focus causing many believers to sit up and be encouraged. Her Christmas address of 2011 was one her most memorable. That year she said:
Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Here, Her Majesty got to the very heart of why Jesus came into this world around 2026 years ago, why he lived for 33 years on planet earth and why he died on a wooden cross outside the city of Jerusalem. Jesus came to save us from ourselves; from our recklessness, our greed and from our sin.
Separated from God
Sin has separated us from our God. Sin bars us from Heaven and sin will sink us to an eternal death. Sin is our great universal problem. It is said that around 10 percent of folks in the United Kingdom have so far escaped the Covid virus. Yet, there is not one person on earth, no-one who has lived in the past, who is alive now or who will live in the future, who will escape the virus of sin. Whilst the mortality rate for Covid was around 1 percent, the mortality rate for sin is 100 percent.
Our greatest problem is our sin, but no general nor philosopher can deal with this for us. Neither can mere religion or living a moral life solve our problem with sin. God in his mercy sent the only person that could save us from our sin. His very name, Jesus, means ‘Saviour’. The angel Gabriel said to Joseph, ‘You shall call his name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sin’ (Matt. 1:21).
To get to Heaven, to avoid eternal death and to encounter God with reverent joy, I need a clean and perfect life. Jesus came to live that life for me! He then died on a Roman cross and whilst on that cross, he paid the penalty for sin for me! He lived the life I couldn’t live and he died the death I surely dare not die to set me free from sin for ever. Jesus rose from the tomb, proving that all these things are true.
How can you be saved from sin and its consequences this Christmastime? Simply trust fully in the finished work of Jesus. Pray and ask him to forgive you.
Our late Queen finished her 2011 message with the following words:
‘In the last verse of the wonderful carol, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, there’s a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin
And enter in
Be born in us today.
It is my prayer that on this Christmas Day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.’
I for one will miss Her Majesty this Christmastime; there was nobody else in public life who spoke out for Jesus as she did, but the Jesus Christ she talks about is still the same Saviour King today, with the power to forgive and to save.
How will King Charles III fare this coming Christmas Day? Well, we will soon find out – let’s see to it that we as the Lord’s people pray for him. God save the King!