The Christ of Christmas
By: Daniel Shutt
Christmas is really a great holiday! The lights, the snow, the gifts–aren’t they fun? The ho-ho-ho’s of adults, the delighted squeals of children; everything combines to make this the brightest and happiest of all seasons. The turkey, the carols, the shiny new toys—what could be better than this!
But what if “He” wasn’t invited to this festive occasion? What if “He” was forgotten in all the bustle and merriment; sadly left out—ignored—in the rush of this otherwise joyous time? It was likely just an accident, an oversight, really, but the cruel injustice is there just the same. It was “His” day, wasn’t it, but it slipped our minds, and we just never seem to think about “Him” anymore. And you do know who “He” is, don’t you–the founder and namesake of this happy holiday, the Christ of Christmas.
So let me ask, when we look around the table this holiday season, will the most important Guest be there? The question is tenderly offered, yet urgently pressed: will there be a place for the Christ of Christmas, the One from whom all its joys and blessings come? What place will Jesus have in our hearts, our homes, this blessed season?
When we turn to the Bible, we find that God has given His Son the place of honor and significance that truly belongs to Him. When He came into the world that first Christmas, three names were given to Him that explain His greatness and the greatness of His mission in our troubled world.
“That holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the SON OF GOD” (Luke 1:35).
When we read these magnificent lines, we are reminded that Bethlehem’s lowly child is the God of all eternity. The child that was born to Mary was no less than the eternal Son of God. Do you wonder why the angels cried, “Glory to God!”? Do you understand why the shepherds fell down and worshiped the child Jesus? Do you appreciate the gifts of great value, presented by wise men? They knew what many of us have forgotten: the tiny child was the promised Christ! What a mystery!
“They shall call his name EMMANUEL, which is ‘God with us'” (Matthew 1:23). These are, perhaps, the three most incredible words in the English language. “God in Heaven” we can accept; “God over all” we can acknowledge. But “God with us”? How can that be?
This is also a great mystery. Who would even think of a virgin birth, a flawless child, a real man without sin? Yet all this is true of Christ, and the Scripture asserts the reality of a perfect man who was fully God, the Lord Jesus Himself. God has come near and through His Son has provided the greatest blessing mankind has ever known.
“Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Here is the authentic and blessed message that God sends to every heart this Christmas season. It is an announcement of salvation and hope, a word of forgiveness and life.
In our time-bound world, eternity seems such a strange—almost inconceivable—thought. And yet before time began, there was One who loved us, and determined to come to be our Savior. He desired that our eternity (our unending existence after this present life is over) might be secure and happy, so He personally acted to make that a reality.
The message of salvation through Jesus Christ focuses on three key issues:
(1) Man’s RUIN because of sin. The Bible plainly says that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Without the forgiveness of sin, all are lost and are permanently barred from Heaven.
(2) God’s REMEDY for our sin is His Son, and His death at Calvary. When Christ died, He fully paid the price that God’s justice demanded, and by rising from the dead, He proved that God was satisfied with all that He had done. The blood of Christ “cleanses from all sin” (1 John 1:7); not one charge can ever be laid against those who are sheltered by His cross.
(3) Our RESPONSIBILITY is to receive the message of salvation and to rely completely on the Savior. The Bible says, “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, HATH everlasting life” (John 5:24). What a wonderful experience this is—to rely on Christ for salvation, and KNOW that we can be saved and safe for eternity!
May you give Christ His rightful place this Christmas. He is the true center of this happy holiday, and for those who trust Him, He is the center of their lives. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to love and appreciate Him, not only at Christmas, but every day from now on?