What Does Christmas Mean?

shepherds adore the christ child

The Word Made Flesh


John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Isaiah 9:2
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Matthew 1:23
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, "God with us".

Christmas means that “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, John 1:14. Christmas means that “Emmanuel” has come, that “the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light” and that He walks with us through the shadows, Isaiah 9:2. It means that “God is with us, Matthew 1:23. It means that our past with all its failures can be wiped out by His sacrifice on the cross and that we can be members of God’s family, heirs of God and citizens of heaven!

Nearly 2,000 years ago the angel revealed to the shepherds on the hillside the glorious news that there was born that day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.

The angel had already announced to Joseph the character of Christ‘s Saviorhood:

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Israel had looked for one who would deliver them from the bondage of Rome and restore the nation to an even greater glory and prosperity than was enjoyed in the days of King David.

They never dreamed that this little Babe in Bethlehem’s manger was the Anointed One, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Only a few devout people living in close communion with God, such as the aged Simeon, saw the spiritual significance of Christ’s birth.

Looking into the holy face of this little Babe, Simeon saw One who had come to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel, Luke 2:32.

For long centuries the children of God had walked in the light of the lawgiver and in the prophets but all the while they looked up to heaven and longed to have God step down.

In Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago that is just what God did. He became flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 (repeated intentionally)
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Christmas message is this: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, 2 Corinthians 5:19, but because people were blind to their sins, “they saw no beauty in Christ that they should desire Him.”

2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Isaiah 53:2
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

They crucified the Christ who yearned to save them from their sins and from the tragic consequences which inevitably followed their rejection of God’s Anointed One.

The world’s primary need today is the Savior, salvation from sin. Failure to recognize this fact and receive God’s remedy for sin is the reason why mankind has failed to prevent reoccurring wars and revolutions in the world.

Because within the hearts of people is lust for position, power and possessions, the best schemes and endeavors of people come to naught.

Matthew 15:19 (Jesus speaking)
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Until these things are rooted out, the world is in a moral decline and in a spiritual sense will go backward rather than forward.

Many have preached about the Sermon on the Mount as though that in itself is a sufficient dynamic to bring in the new world order of peace and goodwill among men. All the religions of the world say “Do good; do good” but they do not give us the power to do good.

One of the failures of many church leaders is their refusal to believe that our deepest problem is sin. We have joined hands with the idealists of the world in trying to bring about social reform without first dealing with the root of the problem, which is sin.

Without God we cannot put the world right, because we cannot put ourselves right. It is beyond us to put away the sin in our own hearts. We cannot save ourselves, let alone the whole world. We cannot eradicate sin.

Thousands of human schemes for social and political improvement will fail because they do not deal with a person’s basic disease. They change the circumstances but leave the person untouched. They alter the surroundings but have no power to transform the character. If mankind is to be saved, if the world is to be transformed, then salvation must come from a Source outside ourselves.

Christmas emphasizes the glorious truth that salvation is provided apart from us, and that into this sin-cursed world came One whose supreme mission is to save sinners.

“Christmas” tells us in John 3:16 what it cost God to save the world.

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.

Christ is God’s great Christmas Gift to the world. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift, 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Christ does for us what no other has been able to do. If we ask Him in sincere prayer to forgive us of our sins, He removes our guilt and reconciles us to God. He implants within us new hopes, new aims, new enthusiasms. He regenerates our affections, our desires and our energies and strengthens our wills. Beautiful, ethical precepts cannot save us, but Christ can. This hope that was given to those shepherds on that first Christmas morning is available only to those who believe.

To know the pardon, joy, peace and power which come through Christ, we must personally receive Christ by faith. Faith must be real if our hearts are to be changed. Where faith is genuine, its influence is powerful and revolutionary and a change takes place and we have a new kind of relationship with our families, our employers, our employees and even our enemies.

Author: Nannie Mae Jordan   (Transcribed by Joyce Carter   Transcribed and Formatted by Jerry Knight)

 

back to top