The First Christmas
The story of Christmas began some 2000 years ago with a young virgin named Mary who gave birth to the Son of God. This baby, who was humbly born in a manger and wrapped in a simple swaddling cloth, was to become the savior of the world by dying for our sins.
A New Law
Before the birth of this baby named Jesus, mankind struggled. God had given man a set of rules and regulations to live by but this Law was too difficult for man to follow because of his natural sinful nature. The arrival of Jesus gave man a chance of forgiveness and everlasting life. Jesus was born to become the ultimate sacrificial lamb to atone for man’s sins. He gave us a new Law which was to love God above all else, and to love our fellow man as we want to be loved. This new law and sacrifice meant that man no longer had to fear death!
The world would be full of love and peace if we were to follow His teachings on how to live. He taught us to forgive and not to judge others and to love all people regardless of who they were. He didn’t look down on anyone, not even the tax collectors, prostitutes, or even the Samaritans (whom his own people, the Israelites, looked down on because they were sort of a hybrid tribe). When questioned about why he chose to minister to these people, He replied, “It is not healthy people that need a doctor, but the sick,” Matthew 9: 12.
He Belongs to Us All
Jesus taught us that through Him all things are possible. He is always there for us. If we falter in our ways, we can ask Him for help and forgiveness. He protects us. We can say, “In the name of Jesus be gone,” to banish evil spirits. Even the most evil force in the world, the devil, fears the name of Jesus.
The Ultimate Gift
God loves us and He saw that the world was heading in the wrong direction. He sent His son to save and show us the right direction. After all these years, there are men still struggling to walk the narrow path that lead to salvation. The path that leads to destruction is often easier and more pleasurable to follow. Matthew 7:14 says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Following God often means that man will have to delay satisfaction and trust that God will reward us in the end for being “good.”
Matthew 7:13 says, “The gate is wide and the road is spacious that leads to destruction.” He is telling us how easy it is to lead a sinful life. He gave us hope when we read Mark 17:20, “For truly I say unto you, if you have the faith of a mustard seed and tell this mountain to go into the sea, it will go.”
Only Through Faith
He tells us that anything is possible for those that believe (Mark 9:23).
Jesus taught us how we should live throughout his ministry. He told us why it is important to forgive in Matthew 6:15, “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you of your trespasses.” Often, it is very tempting to want to get revenge or hold onto bitter feelings when someone hurts us, but if we follow these urges, we are only hurting ourselves.
We All Need Forgiveness
In John 8:1-11, Jesus was approached by a group of Pharisees who were trying to trap Him into saying something that could be used against Him. Under the old Law, an adulterous woman would be stoned to death. When Jesus was asked about this, he said, “Let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone.” One by one, the group dispersed as the people who were ready to kill this woman realized that they were all sinners. Jesus was teaching man a new kind of Law. But remember, this doesn’t mean Jesus condones sin. He forgives her sin, but also instructed the woman to, “Go and sin no more.” We have no idea how it must have felt to this lady. Jesus gave her a fresh start….a new beginning. Now, we also have hope that when we stumble and fall, we can be forgiven.
The First Christmas Gift
Christmas is much more than a season of good feelings, lights, trees, music, food and presents. It’s about the best present that God gave us 2000 years ago. He gave us hope. We can mess up over and over again and God will not give up on us. He gave us a new way of living under a kinder Law. God sent His Son to do for us what we are not strong enough to do for ourselves. He was the perfect sacrificial lamb.
Never Give Up
I have struggled much in my life and these past couple of years have been the worse. I feel like my life has been turned upside down, but I can rest easy because I believe in God’s word. Peter asked Jesus how many times was he to forgive his brother or sister who sinned against him in Matthew 18:21. “Up to seven times?” Peter asks. Jesus responds “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Thank goodness and thank God!
For Unto Us A Child is Born
As you prepare to celebrate Christmas this year, please remember to thank God for the present he sent us 2000 years ago. Sometimes it is easy to forget what it’s all about. Isaiah 9:6 foretold of this gift, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
God Bless You and Your Family this Holiday Season!