What follows is an excerpt from The Story of Reality—How the World Began, How It Ends, and Everything Important that Happens in Between by Greg Koukl.
I want you to think for a moment about what the Story says about Christmas. Now when I say “Christmas,” I am not speaking of any of those things that usually come to mind when you think about the birth of Christ. I do not want you to think, for example, about shepherds or wise men or stables or mangers or anything like that. Those things all have their place, but they have nothing at all to do with my point.
I am talking about something in the Story you probably have never noticed. I want you to consider the most important Christmas verse in the Story that you will never see on a Christmas card, and you will never hear in a Christmas pageant because it is not in the accounts of Jesus’ birth at all. In fact, it does not appear anywhere in the record of His life. Instead, you find it in a dark and foreboding passage that speaks of blood and sacrifice and death. It is a section of the Story recounting a ghastly, grisly system of slaughter where bulls and goats were bled out, their innocent lives forfeit on behalf of others who were the guilty ones.
Now, I think it is obvious to just about everyone that animals can never really pay for people at all. The system of sacrifice God gave to the Hebrews, as important as it was, served only as a kind of sop, a temporary measure to cover man’s moral wound for the moment. It would never do in the long run, and it was not meant to. No, man owes the debt, and in the long run man, not creatures, must pay. And only a sinless man—someone with no debt of his own—could cover the debt of another. And only a man who was more than a man could ever pay for the sins of multitudes.
And this brings us to the most important Christmas verse you will never hear on Christmas. Here it is:
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—I have come to do Your will, O God.’” (Heb. 10:5-7 NIV)
Note the opening words of this passage: “When Christ came into the world….” The Story is saying that on that first Christmas, in some incredible way the eternal Son of God in a baby’s body said to His Father, “Here I am. I will do as You have asked. I accept the body You have prepared for Me, the body that will bleed out in perfect payment for sin.”
And this is the answer to our question. This is why Jesus came to earth. God’s Son surrendered His sinless human self to be the future unblemished offering to perfectly and completely save sinners.