CHRISTMAS AND NOT XMAS OR HOLIDAY

It is Christmas once again. Different Christian traditions celebrate Christmas at slightly different times of the year. It is not so much for the accuracy of the timings of the celebrations as for the celebration itself. In all of these the historical fact of the birth of Jesus Christ cannot be denied. As at today, the historical dating of BC refers to years before Christ was born into this world, while AD refers to the years after his death and resurrection.  JESUS IS AT THE CENTRE OF HUMAN HISTORY. Many celebrate Christmas by excluding Christ from the celebrations. The word Christmas is written as ‘Xmas’. The word Christ is crossed out. So Christ is practically crossed out from the lives of many. Some elites and influential persons or political leaders even refer to Christmas as Holiday. Christmas is more than a holiday. What does Christmas mean to you? In this short message, I would make use of the words man, mankind, human beings and humankind to mean one and the same. Please bear with me. Man is representative of human beings because he is the first of the human race or specie (Homo sapiens). Because mankind offended God through deliberate disobedience, humankind became corrupted with the bad nature of Satan, whom they chose to obey instead of God. When you obey a person, you tend to become gradually like that person, especially if you keep doing whatever he tells you to do. Satan, in the similitude of a snake, tricked Eve to eat the fruit forbidden by God. That made Eve to fail the test of obedience given by God. Adam soon followed suit by accepting the fruit from her. Thus mankind failed before God and became slaves of Satan. The man Adam and his wife Eve became upset, afraid, sad and insecure. They went into hiding and could not face God, who usually visited with them daily for fellowship. Such was the state of human beings inside the beautiful Garden of Eden, before they were driven out of it by God. God had to quickly send mankind packing out of Eden in order to prevent a more calamitous experience for us all. If mankind had been allowed to stay on in the Garden of Eden in that disobedient, rebellious and fallen state, it would have meant that mankind would continue forever in rebellion against God. The love which God had and still has for mankind would not let him abandon man, already in such a bad state, to such a fate. God in his power, love and knowledge of the past, present and future planned for the redemption of mankind. He sent messengers and prophets to many nations and persons in all generations about his love and the need for man to repent and turn back to his Maker. Finally, God Almighty decided to send his Son on a rescue mission to this earth. Though the female of the human specie was the loophole for Satan’s temptation through which mankind fell, God, in fulfillment of his word, decided to send his Son via a virgin (Genesis 3:15). God sent the Archangel Gabriel to a virgin called Mary. Mary had been promised to be given in marriage to a man called Joseph. God said through the Archangel that she would be with child through the power of the Holy Spirit and give birth to a son whose name shall be called JESUS. The angel also spoke of the child’s greatness, his link to the lineage of King David and the restoration of the Davidic kingdom to him. In short the child would be the promised and long awaited Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world.  This future kingdom would be everlasting! That was very big and amazing to the young unknown virgin. Mary was so troubled that she asked how that could happen without knowing a man in sexual intimacy. To her question the angel replied that she should not fear because God had favoured her and with God nothing shall be impossible. When Mary heard the message, she submitted herself to the will and plan of God. In her submission she said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word(Luke1:26-38). At that she became the bearer of the pregnancy of Jesus. It happened exactly as the angel said (Luke 2:1-21). Joseph, also duly informed by God, was very humble, cooperative and obedient in continuing the relationship with Mary, his espoused wife. The birth of Jesus was not mere coincidence, but planned by God. Because of Jesus, a new day has dawned in the annals of human history since over 2000 years ago, bringing love, joy, peace, healing, forgiveness and salvation to all mankind. Through Jesus, the love of God came at the first Christmas in the small town of Bethlehem, in a manger, because there was no room for Mary and Joseph to have their first child in the customary inn. Through Jesus, what the prophets in many generations foretold came to be because he was not only born in a manger, but born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth of Galilee. Through the same child born on the first Christmas, the price for mankind’s salvation was paid 2000 years ago, when he died by crucifixion on an old rugged cross, between two thieves. Because Jesus submitted himself to the will of God, his Father, prior to his cricifixion, he was beaten whilst tied to the whipping post. By his stripes on that whipping post he took upon himself our weaknesses and diseases. His blood was shed on that cross. That blood shed was and is for yours and my deliverance from sin, sickness, and everlasting death. Because of what Jesus, did any person can be set free now. The price for our freedom has been paid 2000 years ago. The gift of salvation is offered freely to ALL! God gave us his Son JESUS at Christmas, but the giving was completed when Jesus died on the cross at Calvary Hill, outside the city wall, in the days of Caiaphas as Jewish High Priest and Pontius Pilate as Roman governor. The good news is that Jesus died on that cross, but rose from the dead on the third day. HIS TOMB IS THE ONLY TRULY EMPTY TOMB. He is alive forever. He was seen first in different places by his close disciples and believers and later by over 500 eyewitnesses at the same time, after he arose. He was raised from the dead because his work of substitutionary death for each human being that ever lived and that would ever live, pleased God. Now he sits  in heaven at the right hand of the Majesty on High. Another good news is that JESUS CHRIST is coming back into this world again. This next time, he is not coming as a baby to be born in a manger. He is not coming to be ridiculed and crucified again. Jesus is coming back as King of kings and Lord of lords. His coming back is very imminent; therefore it is very important to get ready for his return. PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Jesus Christ cannot be ignored. Every person who has ever lived in this world would meet him as FRIEND, BROTHER, SAVIOUR, MASTER, LORD, ENEMY OR JUDGE. Each person’s choice is inevitable. Where do you stand? God said: Look unto me , and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else (Isaiah 45:22).  Jesus said: For God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17).                                                           THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS TO BE BORN IN THE INN. IT IS VITAL TO MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS IN YOUR LIFE. May you have a Merry Christmas with a great difference and a prosperous New Year.

 

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