Hauser: Much more than another day

Jon Hauser

There is no question that Christmas is much more than just another day. In fact, all of human history hinges upon this day we call Christmas, dividing our calendar between B.C. and A.D. Whether you believe in God or Jesus doesn’t change the fact that Jesus was significant enough that our calendar changed because of his birth.

B.C. stands for “Before Christ.” A.D. stands for “Anno Dommini,” which means “The year of our Lord.” When we celebrate Christmas we celebrate the day that changed our calendar.

The reality, though, is while we live in A.D., many people live in B.C. as if Jesus never came. So, what really changed when Jesus came? The major change that took place, the good news that brings great joy for all people is this: in B.C. “religion ruled” while in A.D. “relationship is requested.”

Before Christ there was a strong sense of religion. Religion is us trying to close the gap between sinful man and a holy God. It’s us recognizing I’ve sinned, therefore I need to follow some rules. Hopefully if I follow the rules, if I am good enough, I may be able to close the gap between my sinfulness and God’s righteousness. And even if I can’t close the gap all the way, I will get close enough that God will reward my effort.

When “religion rules,” we decide what is good and bad, hoping that our good outweighs our bad. And we wonder how much more good than bad do we need, to be good enough for eternity with Christ?


On this Christmas we celebrate that Jesus changed this system of religion. Jesus said my request, my invitation, is to build a relationship with you. And my request is for all of you.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)

John did not write that whoever behaves like him shall not perish. No, he said whoever believes in him. Our belief will impact our behavior, but our behavior does not earn a relationship with God. “Whoever believes in him” means to admit our need for a savior as we put our faith and trust in Jesus; to receive, rather than reject, his invitation to build a relationship.

There are those who are 100 percent convinced they are too bad, too long of a rap sheet, that there is no way God can forgive them. I would lovingly tell them, they are living as if Jesus never came. The more you have messed up, the more Jesus came for you. Jesus was really clear, “I came for the outsider; the unrighteous.”

Jesus was so serious about having a relationship with us, on the night he was betrayed, arrested, and abandoned by his closest friends, he prayed for us: Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)

When we receive Jesus and follow his leadership, eternal life starts here on earth. Have you received him? Are you living before Christ (B.C.) or with Christ (A.D.)?

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