Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's a Merry Christmas Because of a Happy Easter


One thing I find ironic about Christmas is that we make a huge deal over something that we were never told to commemorate in the Bible.  It is actually a bigger deal for most people than Easter.  In fact, many do not even get a holiday for Easter from work (including myself).  Why that is strange is that Jesus tells us that we should remember His death and resurrection.  We do this, of course, whenever we partake of the Lord's supper.  I am not saying that celebrating Christmas is wrong, what I am saying is that even at Christmas we should be commemorating His death and resurrection.  We know that Christmas is when we celebrate His birth, but it also raises the question as to why He was born in the first place.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  John 3:16-176 NKJV
Jesus was born to save the world.  He was not born to rule, though that time will come.  He was not born to judge or condemn, though that time is coming as well.  He was born to save.  He was born to heal the rift between man and God to allow that fellowship to flourish once again.  He was born so that we may all have eternal life.  That is what He was born for, but how did He accomplish his mission? 
For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  Romans 5:10 NKJV
He was born to save us from the penalty of our sins and to grant us everlasting life.  He accomplished that mission by dying on the cross as payment for our sins and by His resurrection by which we can be sure we have everlasting life. 

And that is the message of Christmas more than anything else.  Sure it is nice to sing carols, though singing songs about the weather  and trees really have no meaning to Christmas whatsoever and if anything distract from the real message.  It is also nice to decorate our homes, but once again none of that imagery has anything to do with what Christmas is really about.  We love to buy each other and our children many presents and for many there is even a visit from Santa Claus.  This, again, has nothing to do with what Christmas is really about.  Christmas is about the Gospel and the Gospel is about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

So this Christmas celebrate Easter.  I do not mean to replace your tree with Spring flowers or to color some hard boiled eggs and I certainly do not mean to replace Santa Claus with a giant magical bunny.  What I mean is to celebrate Easter as Resurrection Day and to use Christmas as a means to teach the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  His birth did not save anyone, but His death paid the sin debt for everyone who should choose to accept that free gift.  The free gift of salvation provided by Jesus Christ is better than any gift any Santa or Easter Bunny could ever bring.  Share that gift this Christmas. 
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:11 NKJV

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