We are all familiar with the story and traditions of Christmas, but let’s dig a little deeper into the meaning of this wonderful season pointing to Jesus, the perfect Savior, who entered the world at the perfect time to save imperfect humanity.
C.S. Lewis once said, “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”
Jesus stepped down into our atmosphere from His throne and set aside His crown of gold to briefly wear a crown of thorns and offer his life as a ransom for many. He did this so that we might believe, be saved, and one day wear the crown of life.
We did nothing to deserve this free gift and we can do nothing to earn it or get God to love us more. Ephesians 2:8-9 states,
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Christmas is not about festivities and buying presents, it is about God’s presence, receiving the free gift and sharing the good news of the gospel. There are many reminders if we would just slow down and consider Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
Did you know the Christmas wreath is said to represent Jesus’ crown of thorns? A Christmas tree represents the cross of Christ, the tree Jesus died on. And those Christmas lights we put up began with candles representing Jesus as the light of the world. John 1:5 states, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
That was 2,000 years ago. What about today – do we understand the light of the world and remember the reason for the season? It’s easy to get distracted by the business and demands of the Christmas season.
Matthew 1:23 states:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
What an amazing and hard to grasp truth! The eternal God is with us through the Holy Spirit within every believer in Christ. At Christmastime, we focus primarily on the miracle of the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus. What is even more astounding is His deity, the fact God entered our world as a vulnerable human baby and little known to anyone at that time, the Christ child was and is the Creator of all things!
The gospel of Luke states that Jesus would be called “the Son of the Most High,” and also that “His kingdom will have no end (Luke 1:32-33).” I’m looking forward to that!
John begins His gospel by declaring Jesus was with God “in the beginning John 1:2),” and Colossians chapter 1 adds that,
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16
God, speaking in Hebrews 1:8 refers to Jesus this way:
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.”
Jesus instructed people to pray that His kingdom come and, “…your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Gods ways are above our ways.
The Apostle Paul prayed for Christians that they would be, “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding Col. 1:9).”
God spoke to believers through His Word, and the Apostle Paul opened the letter to Christians in Rome saying,
”…concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord…(Rom. 1:3-4)”
If it were not true history, it would be unfathomable to think God became flesh and lived among mankind, but the Bible confirms this (John 1:1,14) and fully explains why.
We needed a Savior from sin and death. Satan knew all about this and did everything in his power to stop the birth of Christ. King Herod was demonically inspired when he ordered a murderous killing spree across that land. Matthew 2:16 states:
“Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.”
God sent Jesus to Egypt for a short time and saved him from the Satanic plot. Jesus is the beginning and the end, and in one of the last verses in the entire Bible, John wrote:
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you of these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16
I love this verse! Satan tried cutting of the line of David, but God’s Word declares Jesus the source (root) of David’s life which establishes His deity. But Jesus is also a “descendant” of David which establishes His humanity. The Scriptures give powerful testimony to Christ as the God-Man. Another way of saying this is Jesus is the root and the fruit of the family tree of David.
The Lord of the universe conducted His masterful plan ordained long ago. Jesus entered the scene at the right cultural, political, and religious atmosphere as the book of Galatians states:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5
God’s timing is perfect, and His ways are far above and beyond our ways! Before the birth of Jesus Christ, mankind was desperate, without help and without hope in this present world system. But God intervened and sent His Son to rescue us from sin and death.
Finally, let’s look closer at some very familiar prophetic verses we hear this time of year about the birth of Jesus. Some 700 years B.C. the prophet Isaiah stated:
For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of armies will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Is the government resting on His shoulders today? No, that is still to come. Are we living in a time of unending world peace yet? Nope. But we are promised that His government and His peace will increase and last forever.
The reign of the Messiah will also be characterized by true justice and righteousness, and it will not last merely 1,000 years. There will be no end to the reign of the Prince of Peace, and He will rule for all eternity. That’s why it is so important we exalt Jesus this season, the only true, living God, and trust in Him alone for salvation. By the way, even Mary needed a Savior.
Handel’s Messiah is spot on: “And He shall reign forever and ever.” Where? The Bible tells us “upon the throne of David.” Jesus will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom (that is, David’s kingdom – Israel). This is a fulfillment of God’s great covenant with David.
Moreover, the gospel of Luke states,
And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47) Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and absolutely no one comes to the Father in heaven except through Him (John 14:6). Jesus is also the only Mediator between God and mankind (1 Timothy 2:5).
There is so much more we could add, but this gives us plenty to consider regarding the spiritual meaning and supernatural power behind who and what we celebrate at Christmastime.
As believers, may the peace of Christ rules in our hearts, and may the love of God shine through us at this very dark time in world history. Let them see something different about us. Let us get out of the way so they can see Jesus and maybe they, too can have a relationship with the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Everlasting Father.
Romans 10:9-10 states,
…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Merry Christmas, God bless you, and keep speaking the truth about things that matter.