At the centre of Christmas is Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, over the years, other things take the centre stage at Christmas. Christmas is often abused. Christmas is not for getting drunk or engaging in other sinful things. In view of this, it is necessary to redirect people’s focus on Jesus Christ who is the essence of Christmas.
Jesus is from the Greek word Iesous (Jehoshua) of the Hebrew origin, Yehowshuwa`(Joshua) meaning “The Lord saves” or “The Lord is salvation.” Jesus means “Jehovah is salvation,” “The Lord will save” or “The Lord the savior.” Christ is from the Greek word Christos which means “The anointed one” or “Messiah.” Jesus Christ therefore means “The anointed Saviour.”
Your Christmas celebration this year shouldn’t be without Christ in your life. You need to come into a personal relationship with Jesus and not just concentrate on the social aspect of the season. Jesus, born over 2000 years ago, must now be born in your heart. This is possible right now if you’re ready to experience this new birth.
If you’re already born again, you need to commit your life to him afresh and to sharing God’s love with others especially those who’re yet to give their lives to Jesus.
The birth of Jesus foretold
God foretelling the birth of Jesus said, “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15 NLT) The offspring of the woman in this verse refers to Jesus Christ.
His birth was also foretold by the prophets centuries before he was born. Jeremiah prophesied the coming of a righteous descendant of David to rule. (Jer 23:5-6) In the same vein, Prophet Isaiah had also prophesied the birth of Jesus long before he was born: “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)” (Isa 7:14 NLT)
Isaiah again prophesied his birth: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” (Isa 9:6-7NLT)
The virgin conceived a child
Mary, a virgin from the line of David, was the woman chosen to carry the supernatural pregnancy of Jesus which was devoid of the involvement of any man. “The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.’” (Lk 1:35 NLT)
What a good news that Angel Gabriel brought to Mary! After Jesus had been born in the manger, it was this same good news that the angel of the Lord brought to shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night – the good news of great joy to all people.
Why Jesus was born
Why was Jesus born? In Matt 1:21, the angel told Joseph in a dream the reason for the birth of Jesus: “And she [Mary] will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” This is the real reason for the birth of Jesus and should be the platform on which Christmas is celebrated.
Christmas should be a time for sinners to be reconciled with their maker through Jesus Christ. No religion can save anyone from the power of sin. Matt 1:21 unequivocally states that Jesus shall save his people from their sins. That includes everyone that is reading this piece who has not yet accepted Jesus Christ into his heart as his Savior and Lord. Christmas is also a period for those already saved to tell non-believers about the love of God to man through Christ Jesus so that they may give their lives to Jesus.
Celebrating Christmas the right way
Christmas is more than Santa Claus. It is more than a holiday. It’s more than all the parties that take place during the season. It’s more than all the feasting of the season. It’s more than all the commercialization of the season. If you bought everything for Christmas celebration and invited everyone but you’ve not yet invited Jesus into your heart or surrendered your life to him, you’re abusing the purpose of Christmas. Jesus is God’s most precious gift to save humanity. No matter the religion you profess, know that you cannot bypass Jesus and hope to enter the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the panacea for man’s sins. Without accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you’re celebrating a Christless Christmas. What looks like enjoyment is actually a dangerous journey to hell fire. As the apostle Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NLT)
No religion can save anyone; only Jesus saves. (John 3:16-17) You need to respond correctly to the love of God for you this Christmas season.
The wise men (magi) were wise seeking Jesus. They took the trouble to come from the east to worship him and honour him with gifts out of their treasure. (Matt 2:10-11) The journey took the wise men some time but today Jesus is so close to people that they don’t need to travel before they can come to him and surrender their lives to him. Unfortunately, many are yet to seek him but are celebrating Christmas.
A Christ-centred Christmas is one that is celebrated with the knowledge of Christ and obedience to his Word. Those who celebrate Christmas in such a way are those who are born again, those who have received forgiveness of their sins from the Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus who is the essence of Christmas also said he is the way, the truth, and the life and no one can come to the Father except through him. (John 14:6)
Because no sinner can come to the Father that is why the angel told Joseph that Jesus would save his people including you and me from our sins so that we shall be qualified to come to the Father. Celebrating Christmas by a sinner is meaningless. The sinner must be born again. Are you born again? Let me reiterate that if you’re born again, you should use this special season of Christmas to share the love of God with people especially those yet to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity and must remain the focus of your celebration this Christmas season.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and an abundantly fruitful 2016!
If you’re not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God”
I believe you’ve said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You’ll need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you’ll be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May the Lord make you a Cedar Christian. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be.