Summary: Know the real meaning and purpose of Christmas
It is Christmas time once again. From as early as the last week of November, Christmas plays, concerts and carol services usher in the Christmas season. Folks go on carol rounds, singing about the joyful occasion. Homes are cleaned, painted and decorated. Christmas trees are beautifully illuminated. New clothes are bought for the whole family. The lady in the kitchen works her fingers away, preparing eatables to last throughout the season. Santa Claus, a nonsensical legend, comes out of hibernation.
As Christmas day approaches there is an excitement in the air. A Christmas atmosphere mellows the heart. Greetings and gifts are exchanged with one another. On that great day, the climax is reached with a church service early in the morning. The church is beautifully decorated and the people are in their best clothes. Many sincerely try to understand the meaning of Christmas as the familiar events of 2000 years ago are spoken of.
Unfortunately to many people, this is all that Christmas means. Many “celebrate” Christmas as the birthday of Jesus. But what does the birth of Jesus mean to you personally? Does it just mean religious entertainment, new clothes, good food and trying to find the meaning of Christmas? Is this all there is to the Christmas season year after year?
Now the Christian faith is based on the Bible, which is God’s textbook for man. So this season, I urge you to take the Word of God and read it for yourself to find the true meaning of the birth of Jesus. YOU MUST KNOW WHY JESUS CAME. If the birth of Jesus has not done for you what it is supposed to do, then this season is only a delusion to you.
Everybody is familiar with the physical details about the birth of Jesus. Now let us check out why Jesus was born. For this, we must go way back into the Old Testament when God first made man.
Adam and Eve the first couple on earth were perfect sinless beings who walked and talked with God.
But when Eve decided to disobey God and listened to Satan, they lost that unique relationship. As God had warned they began to die. SIN HAD ENTERED THE HUMAN RACE. The penalty for this dreadful disease of disobedience was DEATH - spiritual and physical. Adam as the head of the human race allowed Satan to become the God of this world. Since then every human being is born in sin. It is an inescapable birthright. It is a paralyzing evil that numbs the spiritual senses of man. It is a subtle veil that blinds man and prevents him from walking and talking with God. Man began to look at God across a great chasm.
But right there in the garden of Eden, God promised that one day a descendent of Eve would come and utterly conquer Satan the cause of evil and death, and make a way to restore man to his lost relationship (Gen. 3: 15).Thus this Man who was to come would be a Saviour who could save people from the consequences and penalty of sin. Now how was this great Saviour going to do this?
Let us look at Cain and Abel, the children ot Adam and Eve. Both men apparently wanted to establish a proper relationship with Almighty God. Abel killed a lamb and sacrificed it to God. God accepted that bloody sacrifice and communed with Abel. Cain on the other hand, brought some fruit as a sacrifice. It was rejected by God. From Gen 4: 7, 8, we learn that Cain had no real desire to seek real communion with God. He had no real desire to escape from sin. His sacrifice was perfunctory and thoughtless. But Abel, by faith, offered the right sacrifice which saved his soul (Heb. 11: 4).
From the experiences of these two men it is obvious that a bloody sacrifice was the only thing that God accepted. By not coming with the type of Sacrifice that God desired, Cain allowed sin to ruin him. In blind jealousy he killed his brother Abel, and fell under God’s judgement.
Why did God accept only a bloody sacrifice? The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 3: 23). God’s holiness demands that every sinner must die. Sin cannot give life. But God in His justice and mercy, provided a way of escape for man. He ordained that man could live by offering a substitute in his place. Without the shedding of blood there is no escape from sin and its deadly penalty (Heb. 9: 22). God gave this revelation to Abel who truly desired to walk and talk with his Creator. From that time God instituted the system of sacrifice.
However, the sacrificing of bulls and goats could not take away sin. It could only cover sin. The sinner had to come repeatedly with a sacrifice for his sins. He confessed his sins knowing that he would be coming again with another sacrifice for the same sins.