The Christmas story has a dark twist. When the wise men refuse to let King Herod know where the newborn Messiah was born, Herod lashes in anger. “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men” (Matthew 2:16 ESV). Herod viewed the birth of God’s holy Son as a threat to his kingdom, status, and way of life. So, he sought to kill the child by killing all the children in Bethlehem. Jesus came to save a world that viewed children as expendable.
Human nature hasn’t changed. We still sacrifice children on the altar of our sin, pride, selfishness, and convenience. Our sin is so rampant, that God had to command his people not to sacrifice their children in Leviticus 18:21. When we think that our sin isn’t that heinous, we have Jesus confronting us with the hat in our hearts which he describes as murder (Matthew 5:21-22). We are all Herods. Christmas is about God saving the children, others, and ourselves from sacrificial offerings to false gods. Jesus, God’s son willingly died for our sins to show the preciousness of all life. There are two Christmas gifts that should be given to God this year. First, we should confess our sins, turn from them, and trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Second, we should protect the children in the womb so that they can see the light of Christmas. Jesus came to save children of wrath born dead in sin and children not yet born.