As we prepare our celebration of Christmas with family and friends, and rush around shopping for gifts, much of what Christmas is all about is set aside or forgotten. We know traditionally Christmas is when the birth of Jesus is celebrated, but is it recognized for what it truly is?
As we explore the scriptures, we see that the birth of Christ is foretold to us in the Old Testament; Genesis 3:15 intimates that He will come by virgin birth, and what He will accomplish. Isaiah 7:14 tells us this will be a sign, it will be by virgin birth, and adds His Name (Immanuel). Micah 5:2 tells us that He will be a ruler, come out of Bethlehem and how old he is. The New Testament tells us in Mathew 1 that He will fulfill the royal line and be a King! Luke 1 illuminates us, that it is John the Baptist who prepares the way.
But why do we celebrate the birth of a baby named Jesus at this time? What is it about this baby that we celebrate? As I watch people prepare for the Christmas celebration I often wonder what their motive is? Is it the tradition to provide gifts for others? To celebrate the birth of this baby? Or do those people even remember the baby, or care to know who this baby is and why he came?
It is true we do not know exactly what day Jesus was born, but we do know that he was. We also know that December is not that time, but we do celebrate at this time based on tradition from the time of Constantine (approx 340AD). It is important to remember that He was born, not necessarily when. After all, it was not the when that died, it was not the where that died, it is important to remember the who that died, and why. Galatians 4:4 tells us He was born in the fullness of time, God’s perfect timing.
It is important to understand through the scriptures, that He is God with us (Immanuel). He is the ruler out of Bethlehem and He is eternal (from old to everlasting). This baby becomes the last of the royal line in Mathew 1. And John the Baptist in Luke 3:4 says to prepare the way of the Lord. And that is who He is. King! Lord! God with us, born into this world as man.
Some get caught up in the fact that December 25th is a pagan celebration. Others focus on the time of His birth, others may focus on the geographic location. Although these topics are of considerable value to debate, the real purpose is to focus on the reason of His birth. He is the redemption of all mankind promised in Mathew 1:21, “He will save His people from their sins.”
Enjoy this Christmas and let’s keep in proper perspective that the birth of Jesus Christ is a great celebration of God coming to us as man to be the Savior of all the world that He created, and to die here in our place.