The Christmas Season
We are enjoying what is called the Christmas season. For many, it culminates in the birthday of Jesus on December 25. For others it is a time to condemn the season because it is historically inaccurate as we neither know nor have we been commanded to celebrate His birthday.
A Divine Contrast. Biblically, God, in His wisdom, placed no dates on either Jesus’ birth or His second coming. We do not know precisely when Jesus was born. Neither do we know when Jesus is coming. Perhaps, the reason for God not giving us the date of Jesus’ birth, nor informing us of the time of His coming, is because the focal point of the Bible is the cross. While we know Jesus was born and we know He is coming again, it does no harm to focus on either advent of Jesus.
God makes a contrast between the two comings. The first coming is to be a time of joy, peace, and well-being to all. Jesus is “great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10). The second coming will be a time of joy and rest to those obey Him (cf. Matthew 25:21) and a time of sorrow to those who disobey (cf. Matthew 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
The Birth of Jesus. The phrase virgin birth is a misnomer as the birth of Jesus was within the normal process of physical childbirth. The miracle was in the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 1:34-35).
The virgin birth is important to the Christian faith because it explains the unique claims of the New Testament that Jesus was fully divine and fully human (cf. Philippians 2:5-11), as well as, He was the sinless second Adam (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; Romans 5:14). John teaches that Jesus, as the word, “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) in order to reveal God to man (cf. John 1:18; 14:8-9).
The Birth of Jesus Promises Redemption. The birth of Jesus, which date is unknown to man, promises God’s redemption of man to be accomplished. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). It is God’s desire that all mankind be saved. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). The opposite of salvation is condemnation,or perishing eternally. God does not desire “that any should perish but that all come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). The judgment day is coming, when Jesus will return, at a time not known to man nor can be determined by man (Matthew 24:36) in which the disobedient suffers God’s wrath. This is not what God wants. “For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Some Positives Thoughts about the Christmas Season. As we reflect on His birth and with the many activities of the season let us not overlook the many biblical lessons found therein, even though we lack knowledge of His exact date of birth.
- May we rejoice that the birth was “God my Savior” (Luke 1:47) and “who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
- As we hear the cries of human misery and despair, let us share the song of the angels, “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10).
- Many houses are decorated with bright lights. May the decorative lights serve as the special Star which led the wise men “in the East . . . come to worship Him” (Matt. 2:2) by causing men to find that hope for which all desire.
- Almost every house holds a Christmas tree, but may we help others to find the Tree of Life by causing them to realize in Jesus “they may have life, and that may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
- The season is a time of giving and receiving gifts. The birth of Jesus was God’s “unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Jesus is the greatest gift to mankind. May we reciprocate by giving our lives to Jesus.
- Amid the rush, fun, and food, let us not forget the birth of Jesus led to His necessary cross and resurrection. His birth divided time by BC and AD, a fact proclaimed daily by legal documents of man.
As we enjoy the season which has become an orgy of materialism, let us give thanks for Jesus’ birth!