Merry Christmas - 2015

     Well it's that time of year again, Christmas, the time when people stuff their faces with too much food, and have to hang out with family that they'd rather not see, or buy things for, ah yes, the best time of the year. I hope you realize that I'm being sarcastic, while there doubtless are people that feel this way about the holiday I am not one of them. Christmas may not be my FAVORITE time of year, but it's a pretty amazing time, big meals, time off from work, gifts, lots of family and friends. More important though is a baby that was born some two-thousand years ago, a baby that was born to a virgin girl named Mary. As you may have guessed I'm talking about Jesus.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
(Luke 2:6-7)

    NativityMary and Joseph had traveled far so they could be taxed as had thousands of others, and when the time came for her to give birth there was no place to be found but a manger and an animal feeding trough, truly a humble place for the king of the world to be born.
     In the nearby countryside shepherds were watching over the flocks of sheep that were entrusted to them when suddenly they were surprised by a host of angles which brought them these tidings.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
(Luke 2:10-14)

     While Jesus' birth may have been humble the announcement the angles made was anything but trifle. The shepherds were so sure that this birth was something that they need to share that after they visited Jesus, Joseph and Mary that they went through the city sharing the news with any and all that would listen.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
(Luke 2:17)

     Many times people think only of the baby Jesus at Christmas time, but as with all people Jesus grew up, the manger is empty, He's not eternally a little baby in a feeding trough with shepherds and wise men standing nearby looking at his sleeping form.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
(Luke 2:40)

     Jesus didn't come to earth to eternally be a baby, no, He came for much more than that. Jesus grew to be a man, and was a great teacher. Some people get confused at this point and think Jesus was nothing more than a preacher, but no, he was the very Son of God. Jesus came to earth, not so we could celebrate his birth thousands of years later, no, He came to earth to take our punishment upon Himself and to bridge the gap between a holy God and sinful man.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
(John 3:16-17)

     Jesus lived a holy perfect life, but died the death of the ultimate sinner, you might thing I'm being morbid here bringing up Jesus death, but His birth has no point if not for his death. Had Jesus come to earth and lived a normal life and died from old age, or just not died his time on earth would have accomplished naught. Jesus had to die, to bring redemption to man. My sins, your sins, and the sins of the world are what lead Jesus to the cross. For us to be reconciled to a Holy, perfect, and righteous God somebody had to take our sins and the punishment for them. This somebody couldn't just be anybody, they'd have to be perfect, as otherwise they'd only be dying for their own sin.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6:23)

     Sin brings death, and we've all sinned. Jesus Christ brings the gift of eternal life. While we're celebrating his birth this time of year, lets not forget the ultimate gift He gave, dying in our place.
     Jesus died for you and for me, He is offering us the free gift of eternal salvation, but as with any gift it must be received.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
(Romans 10:9)

     This probably wasn't what you were expecting as a Christmas post, and I don't know what to tell you about that. It's Christmas, and while some people are out there doing their thing, celebrating a fat red guy that uses forced slave labor to make gifts for good boys and girls I'm here celebrating something very different.

Merry Christmas!

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