The Message of Christmas
Let us begin by asking three questions:
1. What does Christmas mean to the world?
To most it is a meaningless holiday. It is simply a time for family reunion, a time of revelry, and a license for intemperance and indulgence. It has been commercialized beyond recognition. Santa Clause has replaced the Savior.
2. What does Christmas mean to Christendom?
Christendom has tried to make Christmas beautiful. It has created sacred symbols and nativity scenes. It has produced some beautiful carols, cantatas, and oratorios. The forgotten and unwanted Christ is not concentrated on. Despite all this dressing up, many so-called Christians have missed the mark. They fail to see the Christ, the Savior of the world.
3. What does Christmas mean to you?
- Is it Christmas trees, toys, tinsel, lights, and gifts? Do we really see the Christ Child, God manifest in flesh? Do we thank God for His unspeakable gift? Are we beyond words at how indescribable, unbelievable, and stunning He is? Do we bow down in worship and present our gifts to Him? In the light of the glory of the greatest of all gifts, should not we, in return, present our body to Him as an act of worship?
The true meaning and message of Christmas is, “Unto you is born this day a Savior Who is Christ the Lord.” God had not spoken to the world for 400 years, and then in one act He emptied heaven and revealed to earth the unfathomable fountains of His love. John tersely describes the event of the incarnation in John 1:14 saying, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This statement is overwhelming.
Our Lord came from ivory palaces into this world of woe. He came from infinite distance into finite nearness. He came from the unknowable to the knowable. He who was in the form of God took upon Himself the form of a servant. He came as the infinite Creator, the God of the universe who made the stars, sun, moon, constellations, and galaxies.
He laid aside His glories; He veiled them in human flesh, and stepped down to the lowest depth to save us. He came down past all the greater stars and blazing planets and stopped on an infinitely small planet called earth. On earth, this great God of eternity took up His abode in a microscopic cell. The Holy Spirit planted Himself in the virgin womb of a fair Jewish maiden, dwelt under her pulsating heart for nine months, developing under perfectly natural biological processes.
Finally, He was born in a stable and cradled in a manger. He was Emmanuel - incarnate Deity. Think of the paths that surrounded this event:
1. “She” brought forth her first-born son.
2. “She” wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.
3. “She” laid Him in a manger.
Mary did all these things herself—there was no one to help. This is most profound when we consider that the baby was born, God manifest in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ...” while 2 Corinthians 9:15 says, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.” Both of these in a way reference the profound birth of Christ.
Let us now look past all the things with which we have beclouded Christ’s birth and look at the true meaning of Christmas. At this time God expressed His great love for us. He gave His Son, the Man of history, Deity, and destined Him to rule the world. This love is expressed in John 3:16 and in Romans 5:8, which says, “But God commendeth His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
After His birth, the Babe of Bethlehem became the Man of Sychas, the Stranger of Galilee, and finally, the Man of Calvary. The Lord’s beautiful life was terminated abruptly in a scene of unparalleled brutality. He was cut off from the land of the living.
The Unwanted Christ
John 1:11, 12 “He came unto His own.”
Isaiah 53 “He was despised and rejected of men.”
Despite the many prophecies of Christ’s birth, there were only eight people who recognized Him and welcomed Him to earth. His birth hardly caused a ripple on the waters of seething humanity. Today, He is still unwanted by the masses. Are you among this crowd?
The Challenge of Christmas
What do you think of Christ?
What will you do with Christ?
Is there room in your heart for Him?
A lady lived in a cottage not far from Balmoral Castle. One day she had words with a neighbor and locked herself in. There was a gentle knock on the door, but she would not open the door. After a short pause, there was another knock, but she was determined not to open the door. She was almost beside herself the next day when a neighbor told her that the Queen had stood at her door and knocked for admission and she had refused to let her in.
Someone greater than all the kings and queens of the world is knocking at your heart’s door now; it is Jesus Himself. The King of kings and Lord of lords is asking permission to come into your life. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” What shall your answer be? Do not be one who says, “I’ll just take Him home with me, that is what I’ll do with Jesus.”
When God became incarnate in Jesus and lived among men, He did wonderful things. He healed the lepers, He gave sight to the blind, He made the lame to walk, the dumb to talk. He also raised the dead. To sinners in every strata of society, He offered salvation. When we review the inspired record of His lowly birth, sinless life, vicarious death, glorious resurrection, and His ascension, we must exclaim, “He is wonderful!”
He stands supreme over all men. God thought He was wonderful—His commendation from heaven. The angels thought He was wonderful—they lit the heavens with the glory of God. The shepherds thought He was wonderful—they rejoiced when they saw Him. He is wonderful for He has the words of eternal life. “To whom can we go for thou hast the words of eternal life?” Do you think He is wonderful?
The Mighty God - See Him opening the windows of heaven and breaking the great fountains of the deep and flooding the world, destroying the human race, and at the same time saving those who were in the ark. See Him standing as the great creator, the upholder and sustainer of all things and saying, “While the earth remaineth, there will be seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” See Him stand on the earth again, confronting the united armies of the world as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Never in human history had such might been assembled. Their massive destructive power was aimed at Him.
Calmly He will speak, and His words will go forth like a great sword. Suddenly the flesh of His enemies will begin to dissolve, their eyes will melt in their head and their tongues will waste away in their mouths. “The Mighty God:” John saw Him in all His glory and fell as dead. He also saw Him on the Great White Throne.
Note the contrast between His birth and death:
- He entered the world through a stable—He left via a cross.
- At His birth the heavens were lit with the glory of God—at His death the sun was blackened and darkness covered the earth.
- At His birth the angels sang—at His death the earth quaked, the rocks were split.
- At His birth His mother comforted Him, she gave birth, she wrapped Him in baby clothes, she laid Him in a manger—at His death His Father abandoned Him.
- At His birth Mary and Joseph protected Him—at His death the wrath of God enveloped Him.