The birth of Jesus is celebrated on the 25thday of December; the day we call Christmas.
Many historians; however, believe Jesus was born in the summer. But the time of the year of His birth makes no difference. The 25th day of Chislev on the Hebrew calendar began an 8 day Jewish holiday celebrating the rededication of the temple in approximately 165 BC in the time of the Maccabees. This was the last of the Jewish holidays, or feasts, and it was originally called the Feast of Dedication, or Feast of Lights. This was a jubilant time when the Jews carried branches of trees in their hands. This Jewish holiday is better known today as Hanukkah.
The date Christmas is celebrated is not nearly as significant as to what and why it is celebrated. Who remembers the birth date of John F. Kennedy? What is remembered is what he did during his life and how and when he died.
When the birth of Jesus is considered it needs to be remembered that Jesus was the name given to God in the flesh, and Christ was His title, or position. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, while Christ has always been.
Though Christmas is the most popular of all secular holidays, it ranks perhaps third in importance on the Christian calendar. No one has ever gained entrance to heaven just by believing Jesus was born in Bethlehem approximately 2,000 years ago. Even the demons believe that. According to the scriptures heaven is a gift through faith in the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Therefore, both Good Friday and Easter will have a deeper meaning to Christians.
The Bible reveals the profound truth that Jesus was born to die.
Though the account of the birth of Jesus is given in the gospel records, as are the other events of His life, so much depth of the Christmas story is missed if our understanding is limited to the few passages describing the events in Bethlehem.
The story of Jesus Christ began long before the virgin birth. In like manner the story of Jesus did not end at Calvary.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…And the Word became flesh…” John 1:1-2, 14
The Greek base for ‘Word’ is Logos which means the expression of a concept or thought. In this case ‘Word’ is the image of God or the incarnate Christ, the second Person of the Godhead.
“He is the image of the invisible God…” Colossians 1:15
“God, who at various times…spoke… to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person…” Hebrews 1:1-3
God was the creator of all things including angels. He created the most beautiful of all angels called Lucifer, son of the morning, but Lucifer thought because he was so powerful and beautiful that he shouldn’t be subservient to his creator. Rebellion against the authority of God was the first sin in the universe. Not much has changed.
Now the question can be answered, i.e. “Why Jesus?”
“…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8
In other words, Jesus had to redeem, or buy back, the fallen earth and its inhabitants. The price required would be His innocent blood. Soon He will reclaim what He paid for.
“…Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father…The last enemy that will be destroyed is death…Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” I Corinthians 15:24-28
So then, the story of Jesus Christ is the implementation of God’s plan to cleanse the polluted earth, destroy Satan, and present the restored planet and its inhabitants back to the Father as they originally were, perfect.
What an incomprehensible, unalterable, journey we’re on!
Merry Christmas to all!