Featured in the December, 2011 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Look out for the real Christmas, it has a frightening way of shaking you up.
Christmas mocks the sassy, flashy big cities as God passes them by for the obscure village of Bethlehem.
Christmas mocks the immoral who hop from bed to bed as God brings real excitement to a virgin who becomes the mother of the Messiah.
Christmas mocks the self-important King Herod types as God brushes past them to bring the Good News to lowly shepherds on a Judean hillside.
Christmas mocks the image-conscious with their stylish cars, designer clothes and ritzy addresses as the Christ-child makes a non-descript manger His cradle.
Christmas is not for good people as the Santa Claus stories tell, but for bad people. Did not Jesus say, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13)? We always thought God had a special smile for the successful, but Jesus had a knack for finding the failures and helping them.
Perhaps this is the year to take a moment and think about the real significance of the season. Have you ever asked, “What is Christmas?”
For many, Christmas is elves, fairies, toy factories at the North Pole, reindeer jumping around on roofs, and Santas coming down chimneys, so we forget the real Christmas is all solid historical fact.
The myths have come from the minds of men, but the birth of Christ is rooted in history.
It’s all real people, real places, and actual events. Augustus is the ruler of the Roman Empire and Cyrenius the governor of Syria. There is a real Joseph and a real Mary who leave the actual town of Nazareth to go down to the literal village of Bethlehem where Mary gives birth to a real, live Baby Boy (Luke 2:1-7).
This incredible, historic record is not the “Once upon a time in a far away land…” kind of a story. All is anchored in history as Luke demonstrates in the opening of chapter 3 as he speaks about Tiberius Caesar; then Pontius Pilate, who is governor of Judea; Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee; Philip, the tetrarch of Iturea; and Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas are high priests. All of this is verifiable fact. Christmas is real!
The real Christmas is not only an historical event, but also a miraculous occurrence. Seven hundred years before Christ was born Isaiah wrote, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Mary was shaken when the angel told her she was going to give birth to a child. She asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). But the angel flat out told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Joseph was told of Mary’s pregnancy and the angel said it was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Matthew 1:23).
You don’t believe in a virgin birth? It is true anyway. The fact of the virgin birth is not dependent upon anyone’s faith to make it true.
Christmas is a miracle because Christ was born of a virgin.
It will make little difference if the real Christmas is a miraculous, historical event unless the meaning of it breaks into your life.
Christmas is to become a personal experience. The angel said, “Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you” (Luke 2:11). You are the sinner that He came to save. You are the one that must repent and receive Him.
God is not in the theater business. He does not send angels to Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and have a virgin bear a Son, all for your entertainment. It does have dramatic flair, but the purpose is not for a show, but for your salvation.
Rough shepherds from the Judean hills caught on to what God was doing and believed on Christ.
Sophisticated Wise Men from Persia understood what was going on and gave their lives to Christ in worship and adoration.
Since then millions of people from every walk of life, every continent, every country, have repented of sin and received the Savior. You, too, can experience the real meaning of Christmas by committing your life to Christ.
Christmas is not a day, but the beginning of a whole new life of devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. When you open your heart to Him, heaven is opened to you.