“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Dearly beloved in Christ,
The year 2017 is swiftly coming to a close and the world is preparing to celebrate another Christmas by exchanging presents and Greeting cards; decorating trees and enjoying parties. However, for the children of God, this is a wonderful season to remember and share God’s great love and His precious gift with others. Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift to humanity. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest event in human history.
About 700 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary, a virgin engaged to Joseph, Prophet Isaiah declared “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a Son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) During the same period, Micah, another Prophet of God prophesied the exact place where he would be born, when he said “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Micah 5:2)
There is not even a shadow of doubt in anyone’s mind as to whom these Prophets were referring to. This child is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) The statement that “a Child is born” establishes the fact of Christ’s humanity and the “Son is given” establishes the fact of his deity, and of his divine nature. He is God’s own Son, given as a gift for the salvation of the mankind.
The nature of his birth was supernatural. Gabriel told Mary how Jesus would be conceived in her. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) This clearly declares that the child born to Mary is the eternal “Son of God.”
John emphasizes the fact that Christ was “in the beginning.” This takes him beyond the manger, to eternity past with God in the beginning. He was “with God” and “he was God” himself. He is equal with His Father. “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Col. 2:9) He came in the flesh, but all the fullness of the Godhead continued to dwell in him bodily. It means though he took the form of a sinful man, he remained sinless. Jesus was holy, pure and sinless. He did not know what sin was, he had no sin in himself and he never committed a sin, but he took our sins upon himself and went to the cross.
The wonderful truth of Christmas is that God became man to save sinners. He, who dwells in unapproachable light, left his glory in heaven and came to the earth in the form of a sinful man. Jesus was equal in glory and fully divine like the Father. Yet, he did not consider equality with God, but, made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant. (Phil. 2:6-7) The fact we need to understand is that through Jesus left his glory, he did not give up his deity when he came in flesh.
Jesus was able to bear our sins on the cross because he was God and man. He died because he was man, but the death could not hold him, because he was God. God raised him from the dead is the proof that He had accepted Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was the only person in the entire universe who is qualified to bear our sins, and he did it voluntarily.
God had promised David that someday the King would come and would sit upon his throne. The child born in the town of David, as his descendant, is the ruler over Israel. He will, sit on the throne of his father David one day as the King and will rule the whole world with an iron scepter. And “every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
This very child born in Bethlehem is the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. He is the Creator of everything and the source of life. He is our salvation and all those who trust in him for forgiveness of their sins, will receive eternal life.
Dear brethren, Christmas is not singing carols, exchanging greetings or partying, but it is “good news of great joy for all the people.” There is always a bad news before the good news. The bad news was that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23) and the good news is that “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned…” (John 3:17-18) Sins of every sinner have been paid for by Jesus on the cross. He suffered our sin’s penalty and God has accepted his atoning sacrifice on our behalf. “Now, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom.8:1) This is “the good news of great joy” proclaimed by the angels on the first Christmas night. Jesus Christ is God’s Christmas Gift to us. May God give us His grace to share this precious Gift with others!
Wishing you a Christ Centred Christmas,
Yours in Christ
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