Sunday, December 21, 2014

Does Anyone Know What Christmas is All About? (Part 2)

(This post is the conclusion to the one that was started last Sunday taking a thought from the Charlie Brown Christmas Special where Charlie Brown posed the question, "Does anyone know What Christmas is all about?")

Luke 2:1-14 "And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  All went to be taxed, everyone into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that , while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth good will toward men."

Today in this secularized society, there have been many forces trying to expunge any reference to the name of Jesus Christ during the season of Christmas whether it be through the high courts outlawing nativity scenes out on the public square, or anything that gives recognition to the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus Christ.  The birth of Jesus is what the church community celebrates.  Now we don't celebrate his birth just for the sake of his birth.  His birth into this world is just the beginning.  He was born into this world so he would be the lamb slain before the foundation of this world.  He came to die for the sins of mankind.  That was his central purpose in coming to this present world.  Today our society has become so engrossed in Christmas gifts, Santa Claus, Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, lights, Christmas parties, etc.  Some of those things are fine as long as they are in their place.  But all the things we've attached to the Christmas season are meaningless if we forget to celebrate the birth of the Christ child who died for the sins of the world.  So what is Christmas all about?  I'll say what Christmas isn't about.  It isn't about Santa Claus, the reindeer,  Rudolph, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, decorations, gifts, Christmas socials, etc.  It's about the birth of Christ.

1.  Christmas is about the birth of Christ.  Isaiah 9:6 says, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Probably around 2000 years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah prophesied that Jesus' birth would one day take place.  The promised Messiah that was to come to this earth to redeem mankind from sin.  Why did Jesus have to be born into this world?  He had to come to this world because of the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Because of Adam's sin, the human race was plunged into sin and the wages of sin is death as Romans declares.  I Peter 1:20 says that Jesus was chosen before the foundation of the world to be that spotless lamb.

2.  Christmas is about the virgin birth.  Matthew 1:23 states that a virgin shall be with child and bring forth a son.  He shall be called Emmanuel, "God with us."  In order for Jesus to be born into this world and become that spotless lamb, he had to be born of a virgin, who didn't know no man, not even Joseph until after Jesus was born.  Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit.  It had to be a virgin birth in order for Jesus to be sinless.  He was God incarnate--all God and all man.  Jesus knew no sin.  One thing that anybody would know is that it's naturally impossible for a virgin to conceive a child.  No virgin can conceive a child as a virgin.  She has to have sexual relations with a man in order to conceive a child.  But Mary was different.  She was a Godly pure woman.  God chose her to carry Jesus in her women and this child was born by the Holy Ghost--not immortal man.  Thank God for that!

3.  Jesus is God Incarnate.  John 1:14 states that Jesus was God incarnate.  He was all God and all man.  He was God in the flesh.  Hebrews 4:15 states that Jesus was tempted as we were, but knew no sin.  He could resist temptation because he was God.  In Jesus' 33-year ministry, he was tempted.  The Devil tempted him to jump off  the high pinnacle.  He was tempted to turn the stones into bread.  Jesus faced his greatest temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he was about to face Calvary, but he withstood them all.  He was the sinless God in a robe of flesh.  He fulfilled the law. 

4.  Christmas is all about Jesus dying on Calvary.  Isaiah 53:5 says that He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement upon our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.  Jesus paid a huge price on Calvary to redeem mankind from sin.  He became sin for us while He was bleeding and dying on Calvary.  He was bruised and beaten beyond recognition.  The worst part was when God the Father turned his back on his Son.  Jesus had cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me."  (Matthew 27:46) God the Father did that because he is holy and can't stand the presence of sin. Jesus tasted death for mankind on the cross.  Until Jesus' death on the cross, he had never been separated from his Father until that time he was hanging on the cross.   Jesus was faithful even unto death. 

5.  Christmas is about peace.  The world in which we live knows no peace.  Anyone who reads the newspaper or watches CNN, Fox News, or reads news websites on a daily basis can see all the violence taking place in this world.  It's very gruesome to say the least.  The Child of God has peace with God in his heart but the world won't know any peace until Jesus comes to establish his kingdom in the Millennial Reign. The Bible does tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. 

One of the famous Christmas carols that the late George Beverly Shea sung, "Joy to the World", will one day become a reality when Jesus establishes his kingdom in the Millennial Reign.  What a day that will be. 

I am going to conclude this post with three songs that aren't necessarily considered Christmas songs, but I think they'll will be fitting for this post.  Merry Christmas!

I Call Him Lord-

Red Scarlet Rose--the Rambos

Because He Lives--the Gaither Trio

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