We have entered the Christmas season and there is excitement everywhere. Shopping, home decorations, carols and many other activities are associated with this festive season.
However, what is Christmas all about? Evidentially, many people, although they participate in various activities, yet they do not fully comprehend the complete meaning of Christmas.
Nevertheless, it is fitting at this time to share an understanding of the broader meaning of Christmas.
Let us examine the real meaning of Christmas, with a view to greater understanding and subsequent transformation.
Christmas, or a Christian service, is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Matthew reported in his gospel that the Angel Gabriel spoke to Joseph in a dream and revealed information pertaining to the birth of Jesus.
God With Us
Matthew 1:20-25, “But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
They shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us”. Matthew was quoting from the prophet Isaiah (7:14).
One of the outstanding and most prominent features of the Christmas story is the simple but intriguingly complex manifestation of Divinity.
That God became man has indeed baffled everyone throughout history. Yet, it is the simple biblical truth. However, it is a truth, which only the Holy Spirit can bring us to understand, once we allow Him to come into our lives.
God Manifested in the Flesh
The apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16 posited the fact that Jesus is God when he said, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”
According to the apostle Paul, this is a great mystery; it is one of the mysteries of divinity, where a member of the Godhead became a man.
Paul unconditionally concluded that God was manifested in the flesh, in tangible and in human form.
The apostle John in his writings further reiterated the same divine truth. John 1:1-5, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
God’s Redemptive Purpose for Humankind
Perhaps the most powerful truth in this regard again comes from the prophet Isaiah. In his book he wrote in Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice.”
The baffling truth resides in the names by which this child will be called. Among the names, Isaiah said, He will be called Mighty God and Everlasting Father.
No one will ever deny that these titles “the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father” are reserved for the Father, yet John ascribed them to the Son.
Christmas is more than decoration; it is a celebration of God becoming a man for the purpose of redemption of the world. We celebrate with joy in our hearts.
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