CHRISTMAS - WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
Pleasure, gifts, snow, festivity and fun! These are the ingredients that make Christmas for many people but what does it really mean to you?
CHRISTMAS - THE COMMENCEMENT
2000 years ago, a mighty and holy angel came to the despised town of Nazareth in the land of Palestine, to speak to a young unmarried virgin called Mary. He brought a message of joy and hope.
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest.."
Mary asked "How can this be seeing I do not know a man" (i.e. am a virgin) - the wonderful words came back "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God" (see Luke 1).
Mary with Joseph, who was betrothed to her, set out on a journey to Bethlehem because Caesar Augustus, the supreme ruler of the Roman Empire, had sent out a decree that the whole world was to be registered, making the journey a necessity.
The Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem, to Mary who was a virgin. This was predicted by the prophets of God in the Old Testament long before He came.
"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5v2)
"Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7v14)
What a wonderful moment it was!
"She brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 1v7)
The world had no time for Him but into this world had come the Son of God in all humility.
"He was in the world and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him" (John 1v10)
"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields. Keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2v8-10).
These shepherds received the news with joy and went to find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. In their joy they spread the news of the coming of the Saviour.
33 eventful years passed in the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ: the sick were healed, the dead were raised and many people were helped but the nation of Israel and the world at large eventually plotted against Him and took Him outside Jerusalem, nailing Him to a cross.
There He suffered from the hatred of His creatures, but more, He suffered from God's hand for man's sin, this was the purpose for Him coming.
"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1v15)
For sinners to be rescued and brought to heaven the punishment for sin must be endured. So the Lord Jesus endured this from God on the Cross.
"Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 1v18).
God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him to His Right Hand in Heaven because He was satisfied with the work that Christ accomplished on the cross.
Many had no interest in his birth and no room for the Lord Who had come from heaven but some, like the shepherds, received Him gladly. So it is today many have no time for Him but some have received Him into their hearts by trusting Him as their own Saviour.
"No room for the Baby in Bethlehem's inn,
Only a cattle shed!
No room on this earth for the dear Son of God,
Nowhere to lay His head!
Only a cross did they give to my Lord,
Only a borrowed tomb!
Today He is seeking a place in your heart,
Will you still say to Him - no room?"
CHRISTMAS - THE COST
Christmas is an expensive business! Ask the many shoppers! To buy gifts and presents for others is costly but it is a token of love and affection.
What was the greatest ever cost? What was the greatest ever gift? The answer is found again in the Bible.
"Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given" (Isaiah 9v6) - God gave His Son.
He gave Him to Bethlehem, into poverty and humility, but more, He gave Him to die on the cross for us.
God "did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Romans 8v32)
Remember when you are giving gifts at Christmas, what it cost God in order that you might be in heaven.
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3v16)
"God gave His Son for me,
O Wondrous love!
From sin to set me free,
O Wondrous love!
A guilty sinner, I,
Ruined and condemned to die,
He did not pass me by,
O Wondrous love!"
CHRISTMAS - THE CHOICE
At Christmas time it is possible to be caught up with the all the festivity and to forget the reality of a Saviour that God has provided for you.
God gave His Son as a Saviour because you need to be rescued - Rescued from your sins and rescued from God's everlasting judgement.
This Christmas you will be rescued (saved) if you recognise that you are a sinner and choose to trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save you from your sins.
We implore you,trust Him today!
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4v12).
All bible quotations on this page are from the NKJV, New King James Version, Thomas Nelson Inc.