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The Meaning of December 25

December 2009

     The world around us, both Christian and otherwise, is caught up in a strange maelstrom of festivity. A baby was born in a stable in Bethlehem Judah about 2000 years ago, December 25 having become attached as his birthday. What do you know about the real significance of the holiday season?
     According to the Scriptures, soon after man sinned against God by disobeying His command, He promised our first parents to provide salvation from the penalty of sin. This would begin to happen by the birth of a special person. (Genesis 2:15)
     As the centuries went by, more of the plan of salvation was told. This birth would happen by a unique miracle as a chaste virgin would give birth to a son. We cannot explain more than what the Bible concludes, "That which is conceived in her is by the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:20) 
     Without a human father, He would not have a sinful nature as do all other newborns. Though a very ordinary man. He would be rejected by most of the people He met during his short ministry. Accused of blasphemy, His own nation would bring about His suffering a cruel death and the shedding of His blood. Thereby He would atone the justice of a righteous God, and release whosoever believes in Him from the unyielding penalty of sin - eternal death. 
     His dead body was placed in a tomb but a few days until He by His divine power resurrected Himself, forever breaking the stranglehold death had had since Adam and Eve's sin. Fifty days later He ascended from this earth to His eternal place as the triune God, eternally triumphant over hell, death and the grave, awaiting His second coming to earth to raise the dead before taking all His redeemed ones with Him to eternal joy in heaven.
     We all know that many if not the majority of persons celebrating Christmas do not believe such a version of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some are in ignorance and many do not admit the season to be more than cultural. Feasting and gifting feel real good; lights and tinsel are pretty. The songs of Christmas seem fine to ears tuned to the season, especially so when "Silent Night" and "Rudolph the Red-nose" are at par. But what has happened to the wonderful event in Bethlehem?
     What does December 25 symbolize to you? Have you discovered the meaning of that birth as God intended it, "He shall save His people from their sins"? Until that happens to you, you have nothing truly worthwhile in anything related to December 25. And when you believe on Him, as the Scriptures reveal Him, whatever is done that desecrates the glory of God as revealed at Bethlehem has no more appeal.

- Tom Bender
   Kippen, ON