It's Christmas again, a wonderful time of the year when we exchange presents, eat lots of great food, spend time with family and friends, and feel good will to our fellow man. But what is Christmas? Christmas means "Christ
sent". Who is Christ, and who sent him? Christ is Jesus Christ, the Messiah that God had promised for many years to send to the world. His birth, which happened almost two thousand years ago, is told to us in the book of
Luke from the Bible.
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothers, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."
- - Luke 2:1-20
Why did God send Jesus Christ into the world? As the angel said, to be the Savior of the world. A long time ago, in the Garden of Eden, sin (doing things that displease God) entered into the world. All men and women are sinners. The only penalty a just God could prescribe for sinners was death. But God doesn't want us to die and not spend eternity with him. That is why he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. When he became a grown man, Jesus started preaching and teaching people about God and how we should live our lives. Most importantly, He told us that the only way to God was through Him. To pay off our sin penalty forever, Jesus willingly died for us on the cross. Just three days later, He arose and came to live again, and ultimately to live with God forever. If we repent of our sins, believe that Jesus died for us (is our Savior) and then rose again, and invite Jesus into our hearts so that He may be the Master of our life, we too can be with God in heaven after we die. This is what Christmas is all about.
This holiday season, when you are opening your presents, remember God has given us the greatest present of all, Jesus Christ. If you haven't already, claim Him as your Savior today!