The exact date of Jesus’ birth is not recorded in the Bible. However, that historic event is presently known as ‘Christmas’ and is celebrated on the 25thday of December which approximates the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, which is celebrated for eight days beginning on the 25thday of the Jewish month Kislev.
The Jewish month Kislev covers the present calendar period from late November to late December.
The Festival of Lights, also known as the Feast of Dedication, began during the time of the Maccabees to celebrate the cleansing and rededication of the temple which had been desecrated by Antiochus Epiphanies.
The significant point, however, is that the appearance of Christ on earth was according to God’s precise plan and occurred at the exact time predetermined before the foundation of the world.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4
It would take volumes to explain the significance of ‘…His Son born of a woman…’ We’ll do that in the future.
The Greek word for ‘fullness’ is pleroma and in the present context it means fulfillment, or completion. Other synonyms include to accomplish, ratify, end, and goal.
And even though the exact date of Jesus birth is not part of Biblical history, we can be sure it was as precise as the timing of the future release of the four angels at the river Euphrates.
“So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” Revelation 9:15
Many limit Christmas to a religious holiday; however, that is a myopic viewpoint. The appearance of Jesus Christ is so much more.
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah introduced the future Messiah as the government leader or ruler.
And God speaking to David through the prophet Nathan provided more detail on Christ’s place in human history; past, present, and future.
“When your (David’s) days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom…and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever…your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16
The Hebrew for ‘kingdom’ means dominion, reign, royal rule, and sovereignty.
Nathan’s words to David were partially fulfilled in Bethlehem.
“And behold, you (Mary) will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:31-32
The ultimate fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy is described in the Revelation.
“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” Revelation 11:15
And then near the very end of the Bible Jesus confirms both His deity and humanity as relates to King David.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David…” Revelation 22:16
At the end of every Sunday morning service at the Claremore Veteran’s Center the residents sing their theme song, i.e. ‘Mary did you know.’
Below are several of the key lyrics of that powerful song.
“Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am!”
Yes, Jesus is the cornerstone of the church, but He is so much more. He will be the supreme Ruler of all mankind. He will destroy the enemy and rule all nations with a rod of iron during His millennial reign following the great tribulation.
Separation of church and state? Bah – Humbug!
Merry Christmas to all!
After two decades of teaching Statistics and Economics at ORU and NSU, Walt now teaches Bible at FBC Claremore and the Claremore Veteran’s Center.