Are we looking forward to Christmas? Today Christmas means many different things to so many people. Some look forward with joy, some with hope, some with bemusement and some with indifference. Some try to ignore it in the hope that it will go away.
Christmas seems to have become all things to all people. Make of it what you will - artificial snow and twinkling stars, tinsel, myths and fantasy, all muddled up together. For the Christian it’s a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. For some it’s the baby in the manger, the school Nativity play, carols around the tree, mince pies, and crackers.
Let’s look at the truth and see why this was the most momentous and significant event in the history of mankind.
The birth of Jesus was announced to the world by a host of angels through a powerful display of glory and honour to God. Heaven was rejoicing that a Saviour had come to set people free from the curse of death brought about by the inherent sin of Adam, which had never been annulled. Now this bondage was to be broken through the sacrifice of His death, so that man could be reunited with God. As Jesus Himself said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the captives free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Luke 4:18).
When Jesus died on the cross ’the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom’ (Mark 15:38). This allowed access for everyone - not just the high priest - into the Holy of Holies, the very Presence of God. Sinful man, through the death of the Saviour, would now be free to approach God directly.
A new life would become available to all. Jesus would declare, “I am the resurrection and the life.” New birth would take place - born again by the Spirit of God. ‘The old is gone, the new has come’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As Jesus would say to Nicodemus: “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
Celebrating the birth of Jesus reminds the world of a wonderful opportunity to come to know the reality of the presence of God. Life can be enjoyed to the full, with hope and confidence for the future, by a direct relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.
This is a unique bonding that is stronger than any human friendship. This is communion with God Himself. Where else in the world can we enjoy intimate fellowship with our Creator?
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
The world has lived in darkness for too long. Let us all pray that the eternal Light of Life will pierce this darkness with the promise of new life to come, with lasting peace on earth, and goodwill to all.
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