Monday, November 26, 2012

The Love of God, Our Greatest Gift on Christmas

Luke 2:8-14 says that when Jesus Christ was born an angel of Lord appeared before the shepherds who were watching over their flocks at night. They were at first terrified, but he assured them saying that he was bringing good news that will bring great joy to mankind. “Today, in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord,” he said. “This will be a sign to you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,” he added. Suddenly, a large army of good angels joined him and praised God. “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests,” they said.                                                                                                                                               

Based on the account of Luke the birth of Christ is a reason of great joy to us according to an angel sent by God. Even a great company of the heavenly host joined the angel who had announced Jesus’ birth to the shepherds to praise God on the great event that took place on that very momentous evening. If the good angels did that to please God, why should not we be joyful and celebrate the occasion of Christmas?                                                                                                                                     

The Old Testament is replete with prophecies regarding the coming of the Messiah who is to be the savior of mankind. Christians believed that over 360 of those prophecies were fulfilled through Jesus Christ. Some of the significant prophesies that were fulfilled through him were: he was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, he would live a sinless life, he would be rejected by his own people, he would be called a King, he would be betrayed, he would be falsely accused, he would be hated without a cause, his hands and feet would be pierced, soldiers would gamble on his garment, his bones would not be broken and many others.                                                                                             

Christians viewed the birth of Jesus as fulfillment of God’s promise of sending a Messiah which he made through the Biblical prophets thousands of years before Christ was born. The act by the Heavenly Creator was a manifestation of his love to mankind despite their sinful ways. Because of his love God gave us a gift which the Apostle John wrote in his book in chapter 3, verse 16: “For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have an everlasting life.”

Some people would say that December, let alone December 25 is not the birthday of Jesus while other people would say that Christmas celebration is a form of paganism. However, based on available facts and evidences gathered by religious scholars the actual birth date of Jesus is difficult to ascertain. Some people would also argue that Christ never celebrated his birthday. But had Jesus told people not to celebrate his birthday? During the time of Jesus people probably could not celebrate their birthday as we do today because ancient calendar was not as accurate as the modern one that we know and use today.

Celebrating Christmas is a show of our gratitude to God for the opportunity he gave us to have spiritual salvation and to have everlasting life which we could attain through Jesus Christ. Without his birth there would have been no salvation for us. Indeed, Jesus Christ is our greatest gift from God on Christmas.