Is Christmas Fair?

Every year, everyone asks my kids if they’ve been good this year. Why? Because, as the legend goes, if they’ve been good then they’ll get presents. Not only that, but the presents-to-goodness ratio is directly proportionate, so the more goodness, the more presents (presumably).

This makes sense to us because “fairness” is hard-wired into our DNA. We all want life to be fair—we want good deeds rewarded and bad deeds punished. Anything less is, well, “not fair.”

But let’s face it—Christmas is a celebration of the most unfair event in human history. Christmas exists because of a vast disparity between what we deserved and what we were given.

The Bible says that all of us sinned and “fallen short of the glory of God.” None of us measures up to the standards God has set, and so none of us deserves anything good at all. In fact, what we do deserve is so horrible that no one likes to even mention it.

So why did Jesus come to earth? In short, he came to give us GRACE. Grace is the opposite of fairness; it means blessing when we deserve curses. It means life when we deserve death. It means heaven when we deserve hell. And it means riches when we deserve poverty.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

This means that at the heart of Christianity is a vast unfairness, an unbelievable condescension from God to us. Christianity is all about justice—no sin goes unpunished by God. But that’s where the gospel comes in! When Jesus died on the cross, an exchange took place. He died in our place, taking the condemnation we deserved, and offers us the righteous record of good deeds that He earned during his perfect life on Earth. And all we have to do to receive this gift is simply to believe that it’s true.

But that’s not fair! It’s not fair that a perfect God should suffer and die to save sinful people. It’s not fair that the richest being in the universe should become poor. It’s not fair that Jesus should suffer through hell to bring us to heaven. But thank God that He did!!!

So the next time you’re tempted to say “That’s not fair,” just remember what Jesus did. Remember how unfair it was that the Light Himself became darkness for us so that we could become light in Him. And be thankful that Christianity is the only religion in the world that offers an “unfair” salvation by grace.

Merry Christmas!