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                    Christmas- the Birth of Christ our Lord.

Was Jesus born on Dec.25? In all likelihood he was not. Some believe the shepherds were out in the field watching the sheep for the sacrifice in the Passover season. Jesus began his ministry at approximately Passover and ended it at Passover. Could they have been shepherding the sheep out in the fields in the winter. There can be mild winters in Israel. But some shepherds did face cold weather as seen in Jacob’s complaint to Laban, that he had suffered from frost by night (Gen. 31:40). Would wintertime have been when the census was taken? Winter would have been a good time for field labor to be suspended and allow them the tome to travel to be registered with Rome.

Alfred Edersheim in His The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah says about December 25th: “There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds, which seem to me historically untenable.” Though various writers have quoted Lightfoot about flocks not lying out during the winter months, this was not true of all flocks. He cites ancient Jewish sources to the effect that there are flocks that “remain in the open alike in the hottest days and in the rainy season i.e. all the year round” (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Bk.2, p.186). (in fact a number of early church writers before the Niacea council did affirm this date). The fact is shepherds made their living in the field being with their flock regardless of what season it was.

Recently there have been moves to take down nativity scenes (even on private property) and lawsuits have been filed in several states to remove any religious (true biblical) references to Christmas.

As we see attacks by the secular left it is expected, but when we see the same attitude by those who claim Christ it becomes a concern. What they want is to take Christ out of Christmas and diminish it to only a commercialized event. Leave it to the worlds way and not proclaim to the world what Christmas is supposed to be about. I think this is wrong.  

Some Christians say that nowhere in the Bible does it command us to celebrate his birth as it does his death. If one thinks through this repulsion of Christmas it makes no sense. How can one die if they had never been born? The Bible does not give us an exact date of his birth. So what – why does it bother the legalists so much that we have the freedom to express thanks for the Lord to be born? The shepherds did that very day. If they are so legalistic about pagan practices coming into the church why do we never see them complain about the names of the days in the week being used; consider the pagan origin of the word, “December,” yet they use these word as well. Dec. 25th is indeed a day pagans celebrated a holiday of the sun but should this stop Christians from affirming the true meaning of Christ’s birth on this same day (Even if we don’t exactly know the date of his birth). Maybe we should call it something different and leave out the “mas” in Christmas. Then it would become more specific what we are celebrating and be distinct from what the world is doing. This becomes the most important event in human history (which would include his death and resurrection) as a sinless man was born among sinners. We find that Adam as well as all the patriarchs kept a record of their birthday (they had to if they were to know how old they were), and so did Jesus (Lk.3:23). This does not mean we are having a birthday party but acknowledging HIS coming into the world began his mission.

The angel spoke to Joseph… “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us” (Matt 1:21-23) The Son of God is God in the flesh among men of flesh, Christmas is about God’s glory being manifest to man, He is revealed more clearly than at any other time in history, it becomes personal. Christ our savior is born.  

If there are any similarities to any paganism to stop us from practicing our faith our biblical liberty it is clearly allowed in Romans 14:5-6 as a special day to observe in worship “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it.” We are able to separate certain days to worship on and give Biblical significance to. Jesus makes this clear in Jn.10 when he acknowledges the Feast of Dedication which is not recorded in the Bible but is found in Jewish history.  Do those who are against holidays want to correct Jesus on this matter?

What of Purim? Esther 9:20-23 “And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor. So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them”

Esther 9:26-28 “So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who should join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.

To say Christmas is pagan simply on a the basis of it not being in the Bible or commanded to be kept then we must be consistent with other similarities. The pagans had a temple-Israel had a Temple. The pagans had a priesthood- Israelites had a priesthood. The pagans offered animal sacrifices-the Israelites offered animal sacrifices. The pagans had spring and fall harvest feasts- God gave Israel spring and fall harvest feasts. Should Israel not have kept these? 

Oh let’s not forget the birthday argument, that we are not allowed to celebrate birthdays because this too is pagan practice.

Yes, I’m aware the world and even some Christians have amalgamated un-Christian practices into this day but this does not mean that we must reject the whole idea of what this is to mean.

Celebrating Jesus’ birthday is having God’s people to focus only on Jesus’ humanity and disregard His deity? The fact is, those who know who He is can and must affirm both, lest we disregard his humanity. His deity is eternal but his humanity had a beginning and was birthed at Bethlehem. We should not deny his birth as the Gnostics did, nor should we participate like the world does.

Behind all overbearing commercialization is still the idea of giving a gift, which finds itself in the biblical story of the true gift of giving which was from God himself, as he gave His only begotten Son as mentioned in John 3:16.

Luke records in Scripture that God sent his angels to proclaim this message to the Shepherds: Luke 2:9: “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, For unto you is born THIS DAY in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:20:“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” From the beginning of time since Adam and Eve sinned a savior was promised through the Scripture that would come to save us from our sins.

God sends the Angel to declare the very Day of Christ birth as a day of “good tidings and great joy” to All People, not just to the Jewish shepherds. (Christ is called the savior of the world)

Even the Heavenly Host of Angels also rejoiced on the day” He was born. Luke 2:13 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” So we too sing “Glory to God in the Highest” and “Christ our Saviour is born.”

I find it interesting how many who claim to be Christian detest Christmas. True, the commercialization in the name mocks what it’s about and the title may not be correct, but the meaning of Christmas (which is supposed to be about the birth of Christ) is the long awaited prophecy fulfilled; it is something God told in advance and accomplished. And we should reflect and rejoice that it has been accomplished just as we do his death. No we are not saying happy birthday to Jesus, but focusing on his grand birth and learning from the King of kings, the Lord of the universe by his humblest beginnings.

The Wise men from the East came to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Matt. 2:1 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

These men from the east were known for their stargazing. Being led by a star would certainly be pagan but his was no ordinary star, and these were no practicing pagans. It was God’s visible glory leading them to the child resting at his home a year or two later. They came to bring gifts to the one who was born.

This is not just a birthday remembrance of a great man, or another holiday to have a party, but the celebration of the one and only time God took on a human body.

It was the prophecy fulfilled from the time of Adam and Eve right after they sinned the promise came in Gen. 3:15. That one from their line would come and would crush Satan, the one who tempted them into sin. To acknowledge the birth of Christ (Christmas) one must concede there is a devil, for it was his works that Christ came to take away as He redeemed those who believe to God by His death.

Abraham was promised that through his lineage would come the Christ. Gen. 12:3 “ and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Gal. 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” (fulfilled in Acts. 3:25,26).Christ is the Seed of the woman (3:15), from the line of Seth (4:25), the son of Shem (9:27), the descendant of Abraham (12:3), of Isaac (21:12), of Jacob (25:23), and of the tribe of Judah (49:10).There are more than 300 prophecies pertaining to the Messiahs first coming in the Old Testament (twice as many for his second coming). Why so many? So Israel could identify Him. When in the fullness of time God would send forth his Son (Gal.4:4). What was that fullness of time? Much like they were in bondage in Egypt and needed a deliverer, they were in bondage occupied by Rome in their own land. They were in bondage to a religion that was changed from one of Moses to something quite different.

By both his birth and resurrection he proved who He is.

Rom. 1:3-4 “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (also 2 Tim. 2:8)

 Man made in God’s image, was to be the vehicle for the image of the invisible God revealed to man. Is it any wonder Paul writes great is the mystery of godliness, that God was manifested in the flesh (appeared in human form). The promise came the incarnation, the lowering of the creator which has been called Christmas to those who understand.

Luke 2:11-12 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Phil.2:7 “But made himself of no reputation taking the form of a bond servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Vs.8 “Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Isaiah called the Christ child the “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6), then clarified in context that the “Mighty God” is Yahweh (Isaiah 10:20-21). And from the beginning this child had people “worshipped him” (Matthew 3:11)

  This is the reason He came to earth and became a human: to give His sinless body as a sacrifice to God for our sins. Since God is Spirit he cannot die, he needed to take on the human form with all its conditions of humanity (minus the sin).

You can know about the creator but we really need to know him as our savoir; our creator came as a man to die for our sins, that’s was Christmas is supposed to be about. Jesus being born changed history and continues to do so throughout history; and He can change your life today.

  This is a time of year where most of the people are happy and they are anticipating getting together with friends and family. Many say this is what Christmas is about, family gatherings.

  But this was the very opposite in the Scripture. It was uncomfortable for Mary as she was turned away from a house having to give birth in a manger, an unlikely place for one who would be the King of all kings.

John starts off his gospel about the true light coming into the world, that he was the life of all people. John 1:9-12 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

The tabernacle was the most important structure in Judaism. John uses this in Jn.1:14; the word became flesh and ‘dwelt’ among us, which means ‘tabernacled’ among man. The purpose of the Tabernacle was to contain the Shekinah Glory, where God dwelt. When God dwelt in the tabernacle, among the Jews, the priests saw his glory as light; and while Jesus dwelt among men his glory was manifested in his gracious words and teachings and his miraculous acts. Christ was the ultimate Tabernacle one not made with hands. God dwelt in Christ. As Col.1:19 states it pleased the father that in him all the fulness of God dwelt.

 The details of the tabernacle all point to Christ and describe his attributes, person or ministry. There was only one way into the tabernacle and it was through the east from the tribe of Judah. Jesus came to us through the tribe of Judah and He described himself as the way and the door. As one approached the building itself, “it had no beauty on the outside” Until they entered in. Isaiah speaks of the person of Christ having no beauty that we should desire him (Isaiah 5 3:2). But we discover His beauty when one enters into fellowship. Every gift we receive needs to be opened to see what’s inside.

As one enters the tabernacle the articles become more valuable in their worth from brass, wood, silver to gold to ultimately the one high priest enters carrying the blood of the sacrifice into the holy of Holies typifying God’s Glory.

Can I Ask you a question. He is the savior of the world but has he become your savior personally? Christmas is just a day but to have Christ Jesus is life eternal. There was no room in the inn the night he was born but there is room for him in your heart. That is where he wants to take residence. For him to give you new life he must first deal with your sin, this is why he was born and why He died. So at this time of year learn the real meaning of what is called Christmas. So at this time of year learn the real meaning of what is called Christmas and begin a relationship with the God who loved you enough to send his son to die for your sins.


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