The Beautiful Mill over the River Itchen

   

WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?


  The Beautiful Mill over the River Itchen
  
           
   


WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?

Christmas, in our mind, is so often connected to holiday time: Santa Claus, gifts, Christmas trees, parties, fun, food and drink. But why do we celebrate Christmas? Does it really have anything to do with us?

Traditionally, we celebrate Christmas as the day of Jesus' birthday on December the 25th. In fact, we don't know which day Jesus was born on, but He must have had a birthday as He was born as a baby and grew up into a man. But, why do we need to celebrate His birth?

To answer this question, we need to go back many centuries before the birth of Jesus in Israel. Just like us today, the society in Israel had big problems. There were injustices and there was no mercy. The poor were 'ripped off'. People cared only about their life styles and their money. They chased after their happiness. They committed all sorts of sexual sin and were quite immoral. Worst of all, they forgot their God but worshipped idols instead. In short Israel was in total darkness. Since God is holy and just, He would not let them go unpunished. However, many centuries before Jesus was born, God promised the people in Israel through the prophets that He would send them a Saviour to redeem them from their sin. This is God's love and mercy.

So, when the time came, Jesus was born through a virgin called Mary who conceived Him through the Holy Spirit. Jesus was born in the tribe of Judah, as a descendant of King David, at the time and place foretold by the prophets. Jesus was certainly not an ordinary man because His whole life, origin, birth, and mission to save His people, His death, and even His burial and resurrection were all predicted in the Bible. We can all try to be a great man or a great woman in this world, but no one can possibly determine the journey of his or her whole life a few centuries before, and then fulfil it all one by one. Not only that, Jesus also manifested great power. He calmed the wind and the sea; He healed the sick and resurrected the dead; He fed thousands of people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish. What was more, He was killed, buried and resurrected after three days to prove that He was indeed the Son of God, the Saviour of Israel.

We are not in any way different from Israel. We also need Jesus as Saviour to redeem us from our own sin. He will give us a new life with the ability to live a godly life. That is the reason we celebrate Jesus' birthday because He is also our Saviour, if we repent and confess to Him our sin and believe that He is the Son of God, and accept Him as our Saviour.

Selected prophecies from the Bible:

1. JESUS' VIRGIN BIRTH

(740-680 B.C.) Isaiah 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin [Marry] shall conceive and bear a Son [Jesus], and shall call His name Immanuel" [which means God is with us].

2. JESUS' POSITIONS AND TITLES - some of these remained to be fulfilled in the future second coming.

(740-680 B.C.) Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a Child [Jesus] is born, unto us a Son [Jesus ]is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

3. JESUS' PLACE OF BIRTH and HIS DIVINE ORIGIN

(700 B.C.) Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One [Jesus] to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."

4. JESUS' MISSION ON EARTH - to save his people by bearing their sin

(740-680 B.C.) Isaiah 53:4-6 "Surely He [Jesus] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

5. THE TIMING OF JESUS' FIRST COMING, His death for other people and the prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.

(about 537 B.C.) Daniel 9:26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah [Christ] shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince [the Romans] who is to come shall destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [Temple]. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined."

6. JESUS' BURIAL IN A RICH MANS TOMB.

(740-680 B.C.) Isaiah 53:9 "And they made His grave with the wicked- But with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth."

7. JESUS WOULD NOT ROT IN THE GRAVE, BUT BE RESURRECTED BY GOD THE FATHER

(1008-970 B.C.) King David's Psalm 16:8-10 "I [Jesus] have set the LORD [God the Father] always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol [Hell or grave], nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption."




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For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17