Friday, December 18, 2015

The Meaning Behind Christmas

So we are in the Christmas season. We have been for a while now...basically ever since we got done with Halloween. We LOVE Christmas. But is it for the wrong reason? We adore the family get- togethers, we enjoy receiving and even giving presents to one another. Snuggling up with a warm blanket and hot chocolate while watching Christmas movies is always the best. And we love telling little kids the myth of Santa Claus, and how "if you are nice, you will get what you want! But if you're naughty, you get huge lumps of coal." Oh, and with all of that, don't forget that Jesus was also born into the world to save big deal.

I feel as though that of all things, this is swallowed up by all the glamour of Santa Claus, and presents, and many other things that shouldn't be our main focus.  I know that many people think the same thing. It isn't bad, but it does become a problem when that becomes our main priority.

This is why I believe these things are what we SHOULDN'T be focusing on:

Luke 2:6-7, 9-14
"And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."
"And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!""

How amazing is that? The birth of Jesus Christ was a HUGE deal! Why? Because God had fulfilled the promise he had made to his people that he would send a savior to earth to save us from death. They had waited such a long time for this to happen and it did! I can't even imagine what it would be like to have actually been there and witness the birth of Jesus. What emotion I would have felt to have known that THAT CHILD  was going to take the punishment of my sins away. How mind-boggling is that? I'm becoming emotional just thinking about it. 

In Isaiah 53, it even tells us about what Jesus will do for us. 

Isaiah 53:5-7
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned -every one- to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

How GREAT is our God? How beautiful is this? This is why Jesus was born into the world. To "bear our iniquities". We had read in this passage a few weeks ago at church. Our pastor told us the significance of this. He said "From the very beginning, God had put the curse of our sins onto anything BUT us. He put the curse on the serpent (Satan), and he cursed the ground filling it with thorns and thistles, making it harder for us to work. Then, he put the very last curse, on his own son. Jesus died the most painful death, but as he did that he also took on all of our sins and paid the ultimate price so we did not have to." What is even more amazing about this, is that Jesus did this all because he loves us. He didn't have to die and take our punishment, but he chose to anyway, because he loves us so deeply. And Jesus didn't only die for us...he conquered death VICTORIOUSLY. This is something that is definitely worth celebrating, and it also shows that this is a God is is truly worthy of praise.

My heart is so full thinking about this. This is the ULTIMATE gift that we have ever been given. And it is even better if you receive this precious gift. God is good. I pray that you acknowledge this as you go throughout your Christmas season. Because this is the true meaning behind Christmas.

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