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Have you been struggling this Christmas season?
Do you feel like Christmas doesn’t matter?
Do you need your hope restored?
Pray with me: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this special season of Christmas. Thank you for giving us your greatest gift, your son. Let this season be a time of thankfulness. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Does Christmas matter?
We live in a time where materialism and selfishness rule the season of Christmas. We see fights over decorations, there is often drunken squalor and we feel the stress of others in the air. It is easy to become jaded and cynical when we think about Christmas. We forget what Christmas is truly about.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all of Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. — Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV)
That was the first Christmas. Over 2,000 years have come and gone since then, and now we’re asking ourselves this foundational question: Does Christmas matter? I will give you four reasons for your consideration as you think about that question.
Christmas Makes the Bible True.
Our Bible is largely a book of prophecy. Over 28% of the Old Testament and 21% of the New Testament are prophetic. They speak of a future that was to come. When you think about the Messiah, Jesus, His birth was described thousands of years before He was born. Passages in Isaiah tell the birth hundreds of years before Jesus was born. All of these passages were very specific. An example of this was Jesus being born of a virgin. Several essential prophesies indicated the coming Messiah. Over 366 prophecies that are found in the Bible speak of the coming of Jesus.
The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. Micah 5:2 (NIV)
A messenger will prepare the way for the Messiah. Malachi 3:1 (NIV)
The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a King, riding on a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 (NIV)
The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. Zechariah 11:32 (NIV)
The betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:13 (NIV)
The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend and suffer wounds in His hands. Zechariah 13:6 (NIV)
The Messiah will remain silent while He is afflicted. Isaiah 53:7 (NIV)
The Messiah will die by having His hands and feet pierced. Psalms 22:16 (NIV)
Jesus fulfilled these eight prophecies. These are just a few examples of the prophecies fulfilled in the Bible.
“The probability of all 8 Messianic prophecies being fulfilled accidentally in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the 17th power or 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. That’s one in one hundred million million or one in one hundred quadrillion!” — Professor Peter Stoner (Author, Science Speaks)
When Christmas comes, it validates the truthfulness of Scripture.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV)
The Bible is a miracle book of prophecy. If Christmas is true, the Bible is also true. That is why you find Christmas being fought tooth and nail in every direction. It is not because people are mean or morally corrupt. It is because we are fighting a spiritual battle. Satan is at the back of the battle in terms of pushing Christmas to be commercialized. He is trying to reduce the
meaning and even eliminate Christmas. This is why we must recognize that Christmas matters. Christmas Makes God Known.
God is spirit. Have you ever seen God? Truthfully, you would say no. Have you ever touched God? Again, you would probably say no.
Christmas makes God known because Jesus came into the world to show us the Father.
This was one of the questions put to Him by one of His 12 disciples.
“Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” — John 14:8 (NIV)
Phillip asked Jesus to show him God, and then he wouldn’t have any other questions.
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” — John 14:9 (NIV)
Christmas makes God known, and Jesus was God incarnate, which means God in the flesh. One of the names of Jesus was even prophesied!
They shall call His name Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
Immanuel means God with us. Now to be technical, the name Jesus means Jehovah saves. Jehovah is another name for God. Jesus’ name means God saves you.
In other words, men can’t save you, women can’t save you and the church can’t save you. No one can bring you into a saving knowledge except God the Father. He rescues you from eternal damnation. No one can bring you into a new life apart from God.
God clothed Himself in humanity, lived on the ground, sinless, and then went to the cross to pay the debt we owed Him. This was why the Jewish people tried to stone Jesus.
“We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.” — John 10:33 (NIV)
They wanted to stone Him for making “ridiculous” statements about who He was. They couldn’t wrap their mind around a mere man being God.
Christmas Makes Sin Forgivable!
“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.” — Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
Jesus is the reason for the season.
Why? Because Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, the savior of the world. The reason why Christmas must not be forgotten or dismissed is that it matters. It makes us aware that sin is forgivable. Sin requires punishment.
The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but God’s gift is eternal life.
When Jesus was born and died on the cross, He paid our debt. When people know the meaning of Christmas, it makes them know that we serve an extraordinary God who sent His son so that we could be forgiven.
“The light came on,” said Tom Tarrants, who spent eight years in prison for planting a bomb. “I found myself knowing I needed the grace of God and the forgiveness of my sins. For the first time, what Jesus did on the cross became really precious and personally important to me.” — Tom Tarrants (Author: The Conversion of a Klansman)
I know that if God can radically save and transform Tom Tarrants, a former KKK member, then He can forgive anyone. And that is why the devil is trying so hard for us to forget about Christmas because Christmas reminds us that sins are forgivable.
Christmas Makes Hope Available!
It has been said that Jesus is the hope of the world, and hope is a unique thing.
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” — 1 Timothy 1:1 (NIV)
Paul was letting Timothy know we have hope. What is hope? Its imagination makes tomorrow more enjoyable than today. Christmas communicates this hope. Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a home for us.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
What a rich, powerful and encouraging word. The apostle is giving us clear focus. Christmas isn’t about presents. It is about the hope to come. You may not be living where you want to, but our hope has given us an understanding of what is coming. We have a hope that is greater than our present circumstances. You need to change your perspective from the now and focus on the eternal hope that Christ has given us.
Christmas matters because it makes hope available.
I want to remind you of these four simple truths as we celebrate another year of Christmas.
1. Christmas makes the Bible True
2. Christmas makes God known
3. Christmas makes sin forgivable
4. Christmas makes hope available
If there is ever a reason to have a smile on your face and hope in your heart, it is God’s reminder that one day we will receive our Lord, and He will receive us. No matter how difficult life may get, we have the eternal hope of Christ.
Let’s Pray: Dear Father, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Let the joy of this season rule our hearts, and let us remember that you are our hope. In Christ’s name, Amen.