Christmas is probably the most anticipated time of the year for many people of all ages and walks of life. We see beautiful Christmas lights dancing, hear Christmas carols, get reunited with our friends and loved ones whom we have not seen for a long time, attend parties, and give/receive gifts. All of these bring joy to our hearts, but the real essence of the season is in the very act of giving which was clearly manifested to us by God when He sent His only begotten Son into the world to save us.
Remembering the first Christmas…
We enjoy merriment of the occasion, but have we ever wondered when and where the first Christmas happened? Let’s do some little time travel where it all started. The very first Christmas took place many years ago in Bethlehem of Judea when the long-awaited Savior was born. All the heavens rejoiced when the prophecy in the Old Testament was fulfilled. Wrapped in swaddling clothes, Jesus Christ came in the form of a little babe to save mankind from sin.
“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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
(The prophecy) Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
(The fulfillment) Luke 2:11 (KJV)
Understanding the REASON of His birth…
After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, sin came into the world and was passed to all men from one generation to another. This tragic event severed the ties of man’s good relationship with God. Sin torn us apart from God, and death became the punishment for it.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 (KJV)
“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Romans 5:12 (KJV)
“For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17 (KJV)
“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a (KJV)
To save us from the sure penalty of sin and to redeem us back unto life, God sent us the GREATEST gift we could ever receive – Jesus Christ. Christ died in our stead because He knew that our own righteousness cannot save us from condemnation. He was born to die.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)
“Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto the justification of life.” Romans 5:18 (KJV)
“…but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b (KJV)
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (KJV)
Receiving the GREATEST GIFT this Christmas…
What do we do when we are given a gift? Obviously, we simply receive it. Does the giver ask us for payment? No. There is no need to pay since the one who gave the gift bought it for us and paid the price. It is free. The same goes with the present God has willingly bestowed upon us. After Jesus said, “It is finished.” he bowed his head and gave up the ghost on the cross (John 19:30 – KJV). He has done everything in our behalf. That’s how great God’s love is for us.
“But as many as RECEIVED him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12 (KJV)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES; it is the GIFT of God:
NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
“NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:5-7 (KJV)
Why not make this Christmas the most memorable one by simply accepting the gift Christ has offered – eternal life through Him? We only have to say this simple prayer:
“Lord, thank you for giving the real meaning of Christmas. Thank you for coming to the world and for dying on the cross to save me. Please forgive me for all the sins that I have committed. I gladly receive you inside my heart, and accept you my Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”