What is the true meaning of Christmas? Some people think it is about family. Others say it is to give presents and still other people think it is about receiving presents. Being around family and sharing presents is a great thing to do. It is joyful to see the faces of our children when they open their presents on Christmas Day. But is this really why we celebrate Christmas?
We celebrate Christmas to remember the birth of our Lord Jesus. Have you ever thought about why was He born to begin with? He was residing in Heaven prior to that, so what was the purpose of Him being born and coming into this world as a baby? The Bible says that all things were created by Him (1 Cor. 1:16). So why would Jesus leave His home in Heaven and come down to earth and be born as a helpless baby?
The answer is found in Matthew 1:18-21 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
In these wonderful verses we learn two things. 1. Jesus is God. He was conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and His mother Mary. 2. The reason he was born was to save His people from their sins. No wonder the Gospel is Good News! Jesus came to save His people from their sins.
Why do we need a savior? Because we are all sinners. We are all descendants from Adam. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and people have been sinning ever since. Romans 5:12 states, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." We are all sinners. We have all broken the 10 Commandments and we will all die someday.
Because we are all sinners we will stand before God on Judgment Day and we will be found guilty. There is nothing we can do in our own human power to change that. People who die in their sins will be found guilty and the punishment for that guilt is eternal punishment in Hell. This isn't pleasant to hear, but it is the truth. Again, we can't change that on our own.
Our amazing God knows that we can't change this ourselves. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus was born to die. The Bible says that the wrath of God was poured out on Him while Jesus hung on the cross. Jesus died on the cross for guilty sinners and He rose from the grave on the third day.
If you accept this wonderful gift from God by turning away from your sins and surrendering your life completely to Jesus, then God will see you through the righteousness of Jesus on Judgment Day. You will still be a guilty sinner on that day, but if you trust in Jesus and turn from your sins in this life, God will not punish you for your sins because Jesus was your substitute. Jesus paid your penalty for you. He bore your sins while He hung on the cross. Romans 5:9 says, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
The meaning of Christmas is the salvation of Jesus' people. Are you a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you forsaken your sins and put your trust in Him and in Him alone? This is so important: Don't miss out on the true meaning of Christmas. Christ was born, lived a perfect, sinless life and later died for guilty sinners. But you have to receive this wonderful gift. You accept this most wonderful present in the world by turning from sin and putting your faith in Jesus. Then Merry Christmas will have a whole new meaning for you. Merry Christmas!