WHY CHRISTMAS IS CELEBRATED

As I read the Christmas story from Luke 1:26 – 38 and chapter 2, how could anyone not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God? Jewish law was that if a young lady was to have a baby while she was engaged to be married and became pregnant by another man than her husband; her future and proposed husband could report her to the high priest and after examination, she could be stoned to death. If Joseph had believed another man had caused her to become pregnant and he reported her and she was found guilty, punishment was for Joseph to throw the first stone and others were to throw stones until she was dead. In other circumstances, if a woman had a baby out of wedlock, she and her baby were excommunicated and could take no part in Jewish rituals. Under no circumstances could either, ever enter the Jewish Temple. In fact, that mother and baby’s family were excommunicated for ten generations or 500 years from being any part of the Jewish religion. Jesus was allowed in the Temple a number of times, as was Mary and Joseph.

John 12:42 – 43 – “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”

The angel said to Mary that she would become pregnant and give birth to a son and she was to call his name Jesus. Mary responded by saying how can she become pregnant having never slept with a man. The angel told her ‘that nothing is impossible with God’. Mary, a virgin, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, with the Son of God.

Once Mary became pregnant she went to visit her relative Elizabeth for three months, whose husband was Zachariah, a high priest, who would have been the one to examine Mary and determine if she should be stoned. Zachariah and Elizabeth were the parents of John the Baptist and Elizabeth was six months along at the time of Mary’s visit. If Mary’s future husband Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah accepted that her baby was going to be the Son of God, it should prove that they were convinced of what had happened. If not convinced yet, there were shepherds who witnessed angels filling the sky singing glory to God in the highest. One of the angels told them that the Messiah was born and he was in a manger. Later, wise men followed a bright star to Bethlehem to worship the Savior. This didn’t go unnoticed by many people.

King Herod believed that Jesus was Who He said He was. He had every boy, two years and under, killed because of Jesus’ birth. We have Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, writers of the gospel, also believed He was the Son of God. We have the Apostles John, Peter and James also writing as eye witnesses as to who He was. He predicted His death and that He would rise after death. Over 500 witnessed Jesus after being resurrected.

Jesus came to earth, as God, to teach us how to deal with Satan and how to deal with the world’s ways. He came that we might see the character of God and to know Him better. He came to give us a new covenant of grace. He came to teach us to love God with all of our strength and others as ourselves. He came to heal us, meet our needs and help us to prosper. Christ came to redeem us who were enslaved by the law. He came to free us and allow us to be adopted by God and become His children. This freedom meant we no longer had to be slaves because we had become children. As a child, we had complete access to the inheritance. He was here to show us there is the possibility of life after death.
Christ came to tell us that “God is with us” and will be with us forever if we accept Christ as our Savior. He came to prepare us for His Kingdom that will never end. To live in His Kingdom we must live holy lives free from sin. We are to live in preparation of that time.

Therefore, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who changed the world like no other person has ever done. Jesus is the only person that can save the world from their sins. He changed my life; He answers my prayers and has met my needs. This is why we should celebrate Christmas. However, the world has commercialized this holiday. The world has lost what Christmas stands for. They believe it is a time for gift giving and a time to celebrate by eating and drinking. As a result, we have a generation that does not realize the importance of Christmas.

Jesus came as the light to the world. Martin Luther decided he would decorate his tree with lights as a reminder of Jesus being the light. The hanging of lights is a way of celebrating the Giver of light.

Hebrews 1:1 – 2 – “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.”

John 8:58- 59 – “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”

John 17:22 – 24 – “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

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