Most Christians agree that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. But do they really understand the value of this precious gift from God?
When God created the Garden of Eden, it was perfect. Adam and Eve were perfect. It was a holy place—an extension of Heaven. And God was able to come and visit with His children because it was a holy place. But when Adam disobeyed God, he brought sin into the garden and into the lives of him and Eve, and to every person ever born. The holy “spirit” that they’d once had became tainted with sin, and so God could not visit them anymore because sin can not live in God’s presence.
- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 6:23
But God promised Adam and Eve (and warned the devil) that He would send a Savior to take away their sins and redeem them and all their children back to Him. This Savior would be pure and holy, and He would have to take upon Himself all the sins of the world and then be sent to hell where He would drop them off. But where on this earth would God find such a one?
From the fall of mankind unto this present day, the devil has used sin to rule this world. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that we have all sinned, so where would God find a holy vessel in the midst of it? There was only one way to do this. God would have to create a second son. The first son, Adam, was created in perfection and was holy, but he gave in to sin. And so God would create a second “Adam”, once again in perfection so He would be holy. And then God would give this Son the opportunity to fulfill His will.
God’s plan was twofold: Firstly, He needed to create a new man who would take on the sins of the world so that every single person could have the opportunity to accept this Son as their own personal Savior. And secondly, God needed to be present on the earth with the people, because even if this Savior died and took away their sins, the people would never know it because they are ruled by Satan, and Satan isn’t going to lead them to God. So God needed to establish an earthly temple that He could live in so His Spirit could touch the people and open their eyes.
So God said in Hebrews 10:5 to prepare Him a body. God was going to come to earth Himself and live in the human temple of the special Son. And this body that God had prepared came through the tribe of Judah to a woman who had been raised according to God’s laws and who loved and obeyed God. Her heritage was pure all down the line; her ancestors had stayed faithful and obedient to God. This woman was Mary, and God chose her because He knew that Mary would raise this child the way He wanted Him raised. He chose Mary because she was faithful and God knew her heart, that it would always remain faithful and obedient to Him.
And so God’s angel came to Mary and explained to her how God had chosen her to be one to bear His Son. (Luke 1:26-35) And Mary was honored that God had chosen her, but she did not exalt herself or inflate her own ego because of it. She was humbled and gave glory to God.
It says in Luke 1:35 that God’s Spirit came upon her. Too often we only see things from our natural viewpoint—which is, it takes a male to impregnate a female for her to conceive. But this was not natural. God did not need Mary’s half of the formula to make a child. After all, He IS the Creator.
This Son had to be without sin. Mary, as loving and obedient and faithful to God as she was, was still a sinner living in this world. And if she contributed her egg to make this happen, then this Son would also be conceived in sin, and even HE would need a Savior. We have to clear our mind of the sexual implications. This isn’t about sex! The angel did not have sex with Mary to make this happen. It’s a miracle to us that a virgin should conceive and bear a child, but nothing is impossible to God.
Mary is NOT the mother of God! She is a person who was chosen by God to bear HIS Son. God was not born! He always was and always will be! He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. Mary bore the Christ child, and when He was born, He had to be taught and trained just like any other child. The advantage He had, though, was that His Spirit was one with God because there was no sin in Him to get in the way.
And when Jesus was an adult and ready to fulfill God’s will, He was baptized in the River Jordon by His own earthly cousin, John (the Baptist) and at that time, God came down (in the form of a dove) and filled His body. Jesus had proved to God that He loved God and would always remain faithful and obedient, and so when God knew that Jesus would not fail Him (as the first Adam had failed Him), God filled His body and Jesus became God in the flesh. The body of Jesus became the Holy Temple of God.
And when He died on the cross, Jesus took upon Himself all the sins of every person ever born so that He alone could take the punishment for them. And it was at this time that God withdrew temporarily from Jesus so that He could take on our sins, and God watched from a distance. The sky grew black, and the earth quaked. Jesus’s physical body died, and His soul with all the sins was sentenced to hell.
But God didn’t leave Jesus there. The sins were dropped off, and God raised Jesus from the dead of hell and put Him temporarily back into His old beaten body, and then God raised Jesus into Heaven where He got a new glorious body, and where He now sits on God’s right hand.
- And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.—Mark 14:62
Jesus could have failed God, but He didn’t. He stayed faithful even to the death of the cross. This was the plan from the beginning. Jesus knew who He was because He not only studied the Scriptures, but He had a perfect walk with God. That didn’t make it any easier when the time came for Him to be beaten and nailed to the cross, or when the sins of all of us were poured upon Him. And God withdrawing from Him so this could happen must have been pure anguish for Jesus, but He remained faithful to God—and to us.
This is why the gift of God at Christmas is so special! This is why we praise and worship God and why we honor Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and King! This is why we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” The Old Testament Prophets talked about the promised Messiah, and Jesus IS our promised Messiah!
Will you receive this gift today? Will you join us in celebrating the birth of our King? He truly is the greatest gift that you or I will ever receive, and once you accept Jesus, your life will never be the same. You will see Jesus in a different light. And you will celebrate Christmas in a whole new way.
*If this message has blessed you, then please share it so others can be blessed. God wants us all to know the truth about His precious gift. He wants every one of us to be saved, but we have to make that choice and receive Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and King!
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And from my home to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!