Each year on December 25th we celebrate Christmas. It is a time of family and a time of fun. We do a lot of shopping, and decorate a tree. We bake cookies, and put up lights. We eat too much food, and leave out cookies and milk for Santa. This is all fun, and a great time for family. The true meaning of Christmas though is one that modern society often looks past or has tried to forget. The reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was a Jewish man, born approximately two thousand years ago in the small town of Bethlehem. His father Joseph was a carpenter who Scriptures tell us was of the lineage of Kind David; and His mother was a young virgin named Mary. Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah. The angel told her that she would conceive Him through the Holy Spirit. Later Joseph was told of her conception in a dream by “an angel of the Lord,” and he was surprised; but the angel told him to be unafraid and take her as his wife, which Joseph did, thereby formally completing the wedding rites. We can see this account in Matthew 1:18-25;
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
In the Gospel of Luke we find this account of the birth of Jesus. Luke 2:8-20 says;
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Jesus was and is the Son of God. He was born, lived as a man on this earth, and though He was without sin, He died a sinner’s death when He was crucified on a cross. The Scriptures tell us that He willingly gave His life on the cross, so that in His death we might find life. He paid the price on the cross for our sins, that through believing in Him we might have eternal life and reconciliation with God. Sin separates us from God, but through Christ Jesus we can be reconciled to Him.
Romans 10:9-13 states; 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
So what are we celebrating when we wish each other a Merry Christmas? We are celebrating the birth of the Son of God, the Light of the World, The Christ, The Messiah. We are celebrating the fact that God sent His One and only Son to the earth to die on the cross, that through faith in Him we would receive the grace of salvation that God has offered us. Salvation is forgiveness of sins. Salvation is an eternity with God in heaven. Salvation is a free gift offered to each of us by God. To receive this gift all we have to do is say yes. You can start by praying this prayer aloud to Him;
Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask that You would forgive me of my sins, and that You would wash me clean with Your blood. You died for me so that I might have eternal life, and redemption from sin. I welcome You into my heart. I confess You this day as my Lord and Savior; and I believe that You are the Living God, and One True Savior. Thank You for the free gift of Salvation, for forgiveness of sins, and for showing me the true meaning of Christmas this day.
In Jesus Name I Pray,