Summary: The Birth and Life of Jesus are not based on "blind faith" alone; it is also clearly placed Historical fact.
Christmas: Miracle or Myth
Several weeks ago, a huge sign was posted above a nightclub on Wall Street in N.Y. by a member of the American Atheists. The sign included Santa Claus above an image of Jesus Christ on the Cross with the caption: "Keep the Merry!" and "Dump the Myth!" Evidently this person wants to KEEP the Myth alive (which is Santa), because if you look up the word “myth”, Santa Claus fits the word “myth” far more accurately than Jesus’ does! Jesus’ birth and life are not mythological but part of history.
Listen to Matthew 1:18-24: "This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet (Isaiah): 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.”
The Christmas season is really crazy sometimes, isn’t it? People are busy with decorating, baking, buying and wrapping presents, sending off gifts, travelling and visiting. I read that 2.1 BILLION Christians celebrate Christmas each year, and then millions more celebrate Christmas without a true knowledge of the Jesus Christ, whose birth we remember.
Jesus: Not a Myth
We did not read the first part of Matt. 1, but in it Matthew includes a 2,000 year genealogy to open the first 17 verses of Matthew; he compiles Jesus’ family tree from Abraham to the birth of Jesus, 42 generations in all. (He didn’t have ancestry.com, either.) Why would Matthew begin with a genealogy of Jesus?
Matthew is showing that Jesus’ birth and life are part of history. Verse 18: “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.” Our belief in God and in Jesus are not confined to the area of “blind” faith. Our beliefs are also grounded in history!
Jesus was born at a specific time and place in history. It isn’t folklore or mythical! Although Jesus’ exact birthday is not known, history has accepted His birth as one of the most unusual and critical births in all of history: For the past 1500 years, the years of the timeline of human history, the calendar, has been referred to as BC (used to be known as "A.C.N.", an abbreviation of "Ante Christum Natum", which is Latin for "before the birth of Christ") and AD (an abbreviation of anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, Latin for "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ"). The birth of Jesus separates History into two sections: the Old and the New, “before Christ’s birth” and “after Christ’s birth”.
I was looking at PREDICTONS that were made at the end of last year about people, places and things, mostly generalities, and only one out of those 30 predictions turned out to be correct. (Obama would run against Romney. That really wasn’t such a fantastic “prediction” since Romney had already been planning for years to run.) Not so with God’s predictions: Jesus’ birth and life fulfill 100’s of God’s predictions, prophecies and promises.
The word “fulfill” is used 16 times in Matthew and 87 times in the New Testament. The root word means “to fill a container to the brim so that there is no room left”. When God “fulfills” His promise or “prophecy”, it’s a “done deal”! It means there’s no room for discussion. No room for doubt. God has fully kept His Word and He wants us to be filled with it, too. He doesn’t want us to be empty, but fulfilled knowing and believing the things He has told us.
In the 28 chapters of Matthew, he includes 60 specific FULFILLED Old Testament passages concerning Jesus. The prophecies were predictions that were made about this PROMISED Savior, who would demonstrate beyond the shadow of any doubt that He was sent to fulfill God’s promises. If you take the time to go through ALL of the predictions concerning this “Savior”, you would find them fulfilled in this JESUS. Verse 22 says: