The True Meaning of Christmas
24 Dec 2017
Christmas can mean different things to different people, and hearing multiple definitions about this holiday can make us callous about its true meaning. We must be careful not to become attached to anything other than the true meaning of Christmas. The day that we celebrate is the day that our Savior showed up to save us from our sins, but this is not the Christmas message we hear in the world. The truth is that this day marked the birth of Jesus, who was born to stop the war between God and man that sin started. Before Jesus’ birth, God was angry with mankind because of sin, which brought curses, condemnation, and death. Jesus was heaven’s peace offering, and He came to take away all the curses, but leave all the blessings. Christmas is actually the day to celebrate the arrival of this peace offering, born so that we could have our right-standing before God restored.
- The real reason Jesus was born differs from what we have been taught.
- And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:8-14).
- What the angel announced was to be for all people, not just for certain, select groups.
- Most people are aware simply that a savior was born, but it is also important to consider what He came to save us from. We find the answer in what the angel told Joseph: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
- Some translations of verse fourteen say “peace among men,” but that was not what the angel said. Jesus did not come for everyone to be at peace with one another; we can tell by looking around and seeing continued strife and division.
- Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law (Matthew 10:34-36).
- And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places (Matthew 24:6, 7).
- “Nations” is translated from the Greek word “ethnos,” from which the word “ethnic” is derived. There is currently plenty of conflict between ethnic groups.
- The angel was not announcing peace on earth between other people, but peace and good will toward men from God.
- Previously, God was at war against man’s sins. God’s wrath and judgment was evident in the Old Testament.
- The anger, punishment, and condemnation we read about in the Old Testament is totally unjustified in the New Testament, because of Jesus.
- When Jesus was born, He ended the war between God and man.
- The gospel is the good news that God is no longer angry with us. It is the good news that Jesus delivered us and paid the price to stop God’s wrath on us because of sin. God loves us and He wants to extend all of His blessings toward us.
- Jesus was God’s peace offering to man, and also the perfect sin sacrifice.
- Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4).
- Repentance does not mean simply saying, “I’m sorry.” It literally means a change of mind and heart, leading to a change in direction.
- God’s strategy for dealing with man’s sin is to be so good to us that we would want to change our minds. It is to do good things for us that we do not deserve, and to show mercy to us every day. Mercy is when we do not get the bad that we deserve.
- God is not responsible for the bad things that happen. There is a devil loose, and he comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).
- The Bible tells us that when sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20).
- God is just, and justice required that someone pay the price for our sins. Jesus paid that price.
- For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (1 Corinthians 6:20).
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).
- At Christmastime, we must focus on Jesus, who is the peace offering. He is the most important gift of all.
- If we have received for ourselves what Jesus did, we have been reconciled. Not everyone has received what He did.
- Jesus made the difference in how God relates to man. God’s wrath is over.
- The issue is not sin, but about the payment for it. Jesus, Himself, was that payment, and all we need to do is receive the payment.
- To impute something is to hold it against someone. God is not holding our sins against us.
- The mistake we make is tying God’s ability to our goodness; this limits what He can do for us because it is based on our actions. This is a “Santa Claus” mentality. God’s ability to bless us is based on His goodness, not ours.
1 Corinthians 6:20
Matthew 24:6, 7
2 Corinthians 5:17-19