Many people love this time of year. The lights, the decorations, the presents, the family gatherings and all the rest. It’s like the whole world is ready to celebrate. But celebrate what? May I encourage you to keep Jesus Christ, the true meaning and reason for the season, central in all your Christmas celebrations this year and every year. Let’s take a look at the true Christmas story.
Did you know it begins before Bethlehem? The true Christmas story begins before creation. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was chosen before the world began to be the savior of this world (Ephesians 1:4-5; Revelation 13:8). Before God actually made anything physical in our universe, He first decided to make man after His own image. He then chose to permit man’s fall. Next, He elected some people to salvation and He passed over other people to their perdition.
God, the Master Architect, designed our universe so that in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4-5) His Son, Jesus Christ, would come into the world as a babe, live a sinless life, teach us how to love and serve God, die on a cross, rise again the third day and ascend back to heaven to pay the penalty of our sins, provide us with eternal life and prepare a place for us with Him in heaven forever. And one day soon He is returning to judge mankind and establish His kingdom on earth. Well, that is getting a little ahead of ourselves. Back to our Christmas story.
When Jesus arrived on earth as a babe in a manger, His birth had already been prophesied to men in the Scriptures 700 years earlier (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). His birth was a supernatural birth of a virgin so that He would be pure and uncorrupted from sin through Adam’s fall. Even the town Jesus was born in was planned out by God the Father way in advance (Micah 5:2).
The true Christmas story starts before creation, moves to the cradle and continues with Christ’s consecrated life. We must always be mindful to not leave Jesus as a little baby in a manger. He grew to be a man (Luke 2:52). He never rebelled against or disobeyed His Father’s will; He accepted every burden placed on Him. He lived God’s will, obeyed God’s Word and died God’s way.
That brings us to the next chapter of the true Christmas story, the cross. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (Hebrews 9:22; Matthew 26:28). Jesus’ death on the cross was promised, purposeful and powerful. It won the greatest victory mankind has ever known over sin, death, hell and the grave. Because of what Christ did at the cross we, who have received Him as our Savior, are more than conquers over the world, the flesh and the devil. We now live as sons and daughters in the family of God seeking to do the things that please our heavenly Father.
And when our work on earth is done, we have the hope of heaven waiting for us. Our Christmas story concludes, if we can use that term, with us receiving crowns for loving obedience and grateful service to our wonderful savior Jesus Christ while we were on earth ( 1 Corinthians 3:14; 9:25; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 2:10; 3:33; 4:4 and 10). In heaven, we will cast our crowns at His feet as an act of worship and continue to sing His praises and serve Him without sin forever and ever.
This is the true Christmas story! Let’s tell everyone the good news of peace on earth and good will toward men begins before creation, comes to Earth in a cradle, continues with the consecrated life of Christ, leads to His substitutionary death on the cross, and concludes with Christ and all Christians receiving their crowns of reward in Heaven.