Featured in the December, 2012 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Christmas is Jewish. It was not the Gentiles who gave us Christmas.
Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem — all the places connected with the Christmas story are Jewish towns.
All of the people involved in the first Christmas were Jewish: Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, Simeon, Anna, even the angel Gabriel has a Jewish name!
Jesus is what Christmas is all about and Jesus is Jewish. Of course, the second person of the Godhead had existed from all eternity. But, we read that “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14) and this is what makes Christmas; namely, the eternal Lord Jesus taking on a human body and that human body was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a Jewish woman.
Though the triune God is not to be identified with any particular race, yet, the humanity that Christ assumed at Christmas came through the Jewish people. The very name Jesus comes from the language of the Jews and means Savior.
The coming of Christ is the specific fulfillment of prophecies divinely given to Jewish prophets. It was Isaiah who said that the Messiah was to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) and the same Jewish prophet 700 years before the birth proclaimed, “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” (9:6). It was the Jewish prophet Micah who specified Bethlehem (5:2) as the precise place of Christ’s birth.
Real Judaism and real Christianity are one faith. Just as there are so called Christians who have sadly departed from the basics of Christianity, so there are Jews who have apostatized by forsaking the ancient faith only to hold a sterile humanism as a poor substitute.
A Jew who does not believe the words of his own prophets has ignored his own heritage. At the time of Christ’s birth, devout Jews: Joseph, Mary, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna all believed that Jesus was the foretold Messiah.
Learned Jews, such as Nicodemus and Saul of Tarsus, said that Christ was the promised Redeemer.
The Book of Hebrews clearly explains that the blood sacrifices commanded in the Book of Leviticus find their fulfillment in Christ, as it says, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
There are not two Bibles; one for the Jews and one for the Christians. There is one Bible for all even as Jesus said, “Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17,18).
Not only have the Jews given the world the Old Testament, but also the New Testament. Twenty-five of the 27 New Testament books were authored by Jews and the other two, Luke and Acts, are given over to a record of the activities of Jewish people.
There are not two ways to heaven; one Jewish and one Christian, but only one way. This one way, is through the only Savior, Jesus, who came to earth at Christmas through the Jewish race and said, “Salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
People in the Old Testament were not saved in a different way from people in New Testament times. All are saved by faith. It says in Romans 4:3, “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto Him for righteousness”, and Hebrews 11 makes it abundantly clear that anyone in any period of history who ever came into a right relationship with God did so because of faith. Never because of works.
Some people take offense when it is stated that a person must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved from sin and go to heaven, but it was the Jewish Jesus Who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6).
The Jew, Peter, speaking to the Jews said of Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
It is the Jews who have given the world the Bible, the Savior, and Christmas