Summary: Gleaning lessons' from Christmas season even whilst viewing it from different angles'...
LESSON(S) FROM CHRISTMAS SEASON
Yes… opening ceremony of a grand event (even of the earthly realm) say Olympics signaling the imminent arrival of the exciting sporting action is always celebrated with pomp and gaiety (with special songs thrown into the mix), so as to say that the best is on its way. Spiritually speaking, there would be no grander event in human history than the Almighty in His spirit indwelling us and preparing us to spend Eternity with Him (2 Cor 1:22/Eph 1:13-14). The prophecy to this effect (Eze 36:26-27) would be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38/Rom 10:9-10). No wonder in anticipation of the same, Christmas being akin to the opening ceremony which would trigger a “chain reaction” required involvement of the Heavenly choir itself (nothing more, nothing less and nothing else-Luke 2:8-18) on the first Christmas 2000 years ago.
In this message, Yours truly intends to draw some paramount lessons from Christmas using some alliteration…a la Biblical Preacher of yore (Pro 12:10).
As I hinted before, Christmas by itself would not make one a “Temple of God” (1 Cor 3:16) but it would prompt a start of the process towards the attainment of that ultimate privilege.
If Christ child (aptly named the Saviour-Matt 1:21) had not been born on the Christmas day, His atoning death involving shedding of the precious blood would not have been possible about 33 years later (the day we commemorate as “Good Friday”-2 Cor 5:21/ 1 Peter 1:18-19), if not for His substitutionary sacrifice, the fact that the same had been accepted by God would not have been affirmed on the Resurrection Day three days later (Rom 4:25) and finally but for all the preceding events beginning with Christmas to cleanse us and make us fit to be Temples of God, on the Day of Pentecost that great privilege of repentant human beings becoming His “Sanctuary” would not have come to pass.
In the O.T. Section of the Bible (where all Christ-related signs and prophecies converge on Him-Heb 1:1), we see the Lord’s presence came to indwell the Temple King Solomon (2 Kings 8:10) had built only after “countless cattle” had been sacrificed before (1 Kings 8:5). In the N.T. Section all the signs and prophecies which would converge on Christ before His advent, would now emerge with the proclamations’ of He being the “Divine Lamb” beginning (in the earthly realm) with that of a Prophet such as Simeon… and later on the Messianic forerunner…John the Baptist (Luke 2:25-38/John 1:35).
Jesus could have accomplished everything as per the Heavenly Father’s plan (1 Peter 1:1-4) without even a single prophecy.
Now let’s address this question…why the Bible abounds with not only Christmas prophecies (Gen 3:15, Isa 7:14, Micah 5:2) which were fulfilled on the First Christmas day but also prophecies relating to other milestone events in Jesus’ life such as His substitutionary death on the Cross (Isaiah 52:13-15/53) till the grandest event of He indwelling us in spirit (Gal 4:6)! Whilst answering let me illustrate… some years ago during Christmas time, the womenfolk of our Church went to a reasonably distant Departmental store to buy gifts for the widows/orphans/Sunday school children of our Church. When, they came back it dawned on one Sister (in faith) namely Sunita Benny that she had forgotten her purse containing many valuables in the parking lot of a huge, busy commercial complex. Praying profusely, the entire “Purchase committee” rushed back to that hustling, bustling area after full one hour (traffic snarls you see) where a unguarded purse has as much chance of remaining unpicked as an ice-cube would have of not melting in a fiery furnace. Hallelujah, they found it safe and secure!
Now, Dear Friends if I were to share this account with an atheist or a rationalist and state that the Christian’s God is a prayer answering One then the atheist/rationalist may attribute the miraculous recovery of the purse to sheer “luck” or “coincidence” rather than to the power of a prayer answering God. Now consider this…if all the events-in proper sequential order- relating to that dramatic experience of Sister Sunita were documented in a Sacred Book, say 300 years ago…would any rationalist worth his “logical” salt still attribute it to mere luck or coincidence. No way…
At this stage, when we factor in the following 3 points
1) On Jesus’ one life hinged the salvation of entire mankind, so it follows that our infinitely wise Father would take no chances lest anyone attribute the same to a “coincidence” rather than Divine providence
2) the Gospel was first preached to the Jews with whom the Apostles shared these prophecies to substantiate their points (Acts 2:22-36/13:16-39)
3) and then to the Gentiles (with whom too, Apostle Paul would draw from their own historical “prophecies” to present the Gospel-Acts 17:28)