Have you ever wondered, “Why Christmas?”
The answer seems simple enough, “We have Christmas to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”
Jesus’ birthday is the what, not the why. Jesus’ birthday is what we celebrate on Christmas. But why do we celebrate His birth? Going a bit deeper, maybe we should ask why Jesus was born in the first place.
Taking the Bible at its word, as we should, think of the things the Scripture says about Jesus.
Jesus was without earthly father and born of a virgin — Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:31—35.
Jesus is God, the One Who created the universe. (John 1:1—4, 14).
All matter is held together by Jesus Christ — Colossians 1:17.
Jesus is eternal; He always has been and always will be — Hebrews 13:8.
Jesus sits in heaven on the right hand of God the Father — Acts 2:33; Revelation 4:1—11.
The list goes on and on.
So, why was Jesus born in the first place? Why would God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, leave His throne in heaven, come down here and start as a helpless baby born in a barn?
According to the Bible, Mary is found with child of the Holy Ghost. Soon after learning she will give birth to the Son of God, Mary leaves town. She visits her cousin Elisabeth, who is carrying John the Baptist in her womb (Luke 1:26—40).
The Bible does not give exact times, but it does appear that Mary spent around six months visiting her cousin. Upon Mary’s return home, her pregnancy is, or soon to be, noticeable
to all. There is no record or indication that Mary explains to Joseph what is going on. She must have had the faith to believe God would sort all this out with Joseph.
Imagine the conversation that probably never happened, “Um, Sweetheart. As you can see I am pregnant, but I want you to know, I’m still a virgin. You see, this angel come to me ….”
In the latter half of Matthew chapter one, we find Joseph struggling with what to do. During that time and place, a promise to marry was legally binding. Should he divorce Mary or not? Mary’s faith holds true as God sends an angel to Joseph to explain things.
The angel tells Joseph the baby is God and the reason for His arrival is to save people from their sins (Matthew 1:20—23).
Now we have another question — Why does Jesus have to do that?
Most people think if we are good people — if the good in our lives outweighs the bad, then God is satisfied, and heaven is our eternal home. A couple of thousand years before Jesus was born, God gave us Moses and the ten commandments. If humanity secured salvation by following the ten commandments more often than not, then why Christmas?
Others tend to believe religion or religious rituals, such as baptism, bring eternal life. In the New Testament, Paul outlines baptism, the church, and the exercise of religion. If salvation came through the church or any ceremony within the church, why not have Paul explain it and leave it at that? Why Christmas?
Why did the angel tell Joseph, Jesus was God, and He was coming to save people from their sins if either a good or religious life could save us instead? Again, why Christmas?
We have Christmas because neither our good works nor our religion can save our souls.
When John the Baptist first sees Jesus by the Sea of Galilee. He cries out, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Roughly thirty years before
this event is when the angel told Joseph the Babe would take away sins. Now John is adding a dynamic. John adds the “how” Jesus was to do this — Jesus is the Lamb.
Everyone within earshot of John understood what he meant by using the word “Lamb” — Jesus was God’s sin sacrifice.
Why do we have Christmas? We have Christmas for Jesus to be born so that He could later die for our sins — the Lamb of God; The Heavenly Father’s sacrifice for us. Isaiah 53:5—6 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The famous saying is, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” However, that is inaccurate. We are the reason for the season. John 3:16, “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.”
The Lamb has come — have a very merry Christmas!