“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;” – (1 Corinthians 1:27 ESV)
Without the death, burial, resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus Christ to the right hand of God the Father, Christmas would have no meaning. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like Santa Claus and Christmas trees, and both giving and receiving gifts. My best memories of my childhood are of waking up on Christmas morning and opening my presents. I usually gathered with my two best friends later that morning, and was amazed at how similar the gifts we had received were. One year we all had army uniforms, and, another year, amazingly we all had received similar cowboy outfits (our mothers obviously conspired together.) I say all that to say; I’m not an Ebenezer Scrooge type person.
But, if Jesus was just another great teacher and moral leader, I don’t believe it would be appropriate for millions of people to celebrate his birth across the globe. I mean, why him? History is full of great political, religious, and military leaders who contributed greatly to the world and conquered Kingdoms.
The fact is Jesus Christ is a King. But his Kingdom is an invisible Kingdom that is not of this world. His miraculous birth was purposely offensive so that his life, ministry and mission, could only be attributed to God. This whole story of God becoming a baby boy – and born of a virgin was scandalous! Not only that; Jesus was born in a manger in a dirty stable, not in a King’s palace. And, His ministry was both offensive to religious leaders and divisive to families. Jesus’ message is offensive to human wisdom and reasoning, He requires total allegiance and clearly states he’s the only way to heaven. That wasn’t a popular message 2000 years ago anymore than it is today. But, it sure sounds like God to me!
Have you figured out yet that God is not afraid of what men think? Very few people deny the historical existence of Jesus, and the fact that a man from a working class family was mentioned in ancient history books, is extraordinary. We can make up our own rules when it comes to celebrating Christmas and call it a holiday if we want to, but at the end of the day, it’s really all about Immanuel (God with us.)
This Jesus of Nazareth whose birth we celebrate is not a mere man, or, just a lowly carpenter – he is the reigning King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He presently rules the earth and the entire universe in a position of supreme authority, at the right hand of God the Father. Why should we bother celebrating Christmas if Jesus wasn’t born to die for the sins of the world?
Regardless of what some people think, Jesus is not some mythical Santa Claus figure. All of the fullness of God dwells in him and he’s coming back to rule the nations, and to reward the faithful, and to punish the wicked. Believe me, He will make every wrong thing right in the age to come.
My prayer is that we would once again view Christmas with a child-like awe-inspiring faith and wonder in the gift of eternal life, Jesus Christ.
Without the Cross Christmas is meaningless.