Christmas. It is one simple word that conveys a lot.
Christmas is a common word that denotes a season that happens every year. Regardless of what else is happening in the world, Christmas is never cancelled. Yes, the expression of it may be amended, but December 25th will always be Christmas.
Christmas is synonymous with family and friends, with eating and celebration, with gifts and stockings. Christmas is referred to as the festive season.
Christmas is a great opportunity to take a break, to have a rest and to go on vacation. Getting away from normal life is an anticipated escape for many. But Christmas is so much more than all of these wonderful things.
Christmas is the time of year when the world is pointed to the birth of Jesus Christ.
More than a season, and more than just a baby being born, Christmas is about a Son who was given. The eternal Son of God stepped down from heaven and took on the form of a man. He submitted Himself to the very people He had created.
Christmas is a defining marker in the history of the world. Everything changed from the birth of Jesus onwards. What had been was about to change. And not just slightly or for a short time. Forever. Completely. Eternally.
The Creator became human. The Divine became like us. The Eternal limited Himself to the natural.
Jesus marked the transition from the law to grace, from the old covenant to the new covenant. Jesus was the fulfilment of what had been prophetically declared.
Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV) All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Jesus was the very image of God on the earth, the radiance of the Father’s glory. Jesus embodied what God is actually like. Jesus was the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus was the way for all of us to be reconciled to God.
Jesus lived perfectly. Jesus died horrifically. Jesus rose triumphantly. Jesus ascended victoriously.
And Jesus will come again! He will split the sky and He will ride in on a white horse. The dead will be raised, and we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Once again, everything will change. Forever. Completely. Eternally.
And this can all be traced back to one starry night, in a little town called Bethlehem. In a stable, surrounded by animals who find their origins in Him. Humbly. Unremarkably. Easy to be overlooked. A virgin and her husband. Alone. But in the very presence of Emmanuel; God with us. Their son. The Saviour. The King.
This is Christmas. This is Jesus. This is Life.