Tuesday, 25 December 2012

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Later today, Christmas day, a Muslim colleague of mine asked me what the meaning of Christmas is and why we celebrate it. So I took some time and with patience tried to explain to Him the whole concept and meaning of Christmas. The discussion covered Jesus’ birth, life, death and his honourable and complete work of salvation to all those that believe. In this write up, I am going to share with you portions of the discussion that I had with my Muslim friend, and in the end I pray that you will come to the truth of the celebration and know the REASON for the season.

What is Christmas?
Christmas is a time of the year where Christians and unbelievers worldwide join their families to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It must be noted that not all Christians celebrate Christmas, some still have some reservations about the celebration and this had given rise to such questions such as whether or not Jesus Christ was born on December 25, the date on which Christmas is celebrated worldwide.

Also, it is worthy of note that majority of the Christians and unbelievers who join in with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ do it without purpose. I say this in reference to the manner in which Christmas is celebrated nowadays. The real purpose of Christmas is to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. Therefore, the use of Christmas as a time for wild parties and orgies, reveling and heavy drinking is shamefully out of place and very inappropriate.

Who is Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is the Son of God whose birth, life and death were prophesied several years before they actually started to unfold. The prophet Isaiah spoke vividly about how Jesus will be born, his life, and death.

About Christ’s birth, Prophet Isaiah wrote:
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14.

About a thousand (1000) years after this prophecy was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, the prophecy became fulfilled when Mary who was a virgin conceived and gave birth to a Son and named him Jesus Christ just as she had been told by an angel who visited her (see Luke 1:30-37 below).
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
And about the life of Jesus Christ, the prophet wrote in Isaiah 9:6-7;
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, Counsellor, 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.

Then about the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, Isaiah the prophet writes again in Isaiah 53:1-10:
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and theLord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

How does the birth, life, or death of Jesus Christ make Him a Saviour of the world?
The wages for sin is death (see Romans 6:23). Jesus Christ became the Saviour of the world because God used Him as a lamb (see Isaiah 53 quoted above) and his death atoned for the sins of all mankind. When John the Baptist saw Jesus Christ, the first utterance he made was, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In order words, John being a prophet himself saw vividly the purpose for which Jesus had come to the Earth, to save sinners.

Luke 19:10 teaches us that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. All of us were lost in our sins, and those who have not acknowledged and accepted the complete work of salvation done by our Lord Jesus Christ, are still lost in sins. We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If we continue in our sins then we will have to pay for them by being eternally separated from God in hell.

In order words, we deserve to be forever separated from God like the devil because sin makes us unholy and nothing that is unholy can come close to God. Jesus Christ as a Saviour came to redeem and save us from our sins and make us holy and righteous before God so that we will able to live forever with Him in Heaven.

Jesus Christ is the real meaning of Christmas and not parties, orgies, and heavy drinking. Therefore, the BEST Christmas gift you can give to yourself is to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and receive forgiveness of sins and everlasting life in Heaven. Jesus Christ does not want you to go to hell. He want you to come to Heaven and live forever with Him, and this is why He left his throne and glory and came down to the earth to die for you and me. And it is written in the Bible (the Word of God) that “God had given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (Jesus Christ), whosoever has the Son hath the life and whoever has not the Son of God does not have everlasting life” (1 John 5:11).

Dear friend, God is inviting you to have an awesome relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is to repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You can do so by saying the prayer below and believing with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came from heaven and died to save us from sin and bondage as it is written in the Word of God, the Bible. Make this decision today, say the prayer below and believe it:
Dear God, I thank you for sending Jesus Christ to die for me.
I acknowledge I am a sinner and needs Salvation.
Today, I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
Jesus, please forgive me of all my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Help me to serve and live my life to please you all the days of my life.
Please, write my name in the Book of Life.
Thank you for saving me. In Jesus’ name I pray.

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