What comes to mind when you think of Christmas? Do you think about celebration, shopping for gifts, spending time with family and friends? Orperhaps remembering the passing of loved ones makes this time of year difficult? Or Do you anticipate the coming of Jesus?
The real reason we celebrate Christmas is to remember Jesus’ birthday. We celebrate the Messiah who brought the good news of freedom and salvation. His coming is foretold all through the Old Testament. God promised Abraham in Genesis (22:16-18) that he will be merciful to God’s people forever. The birth of Jesus Christ fulfilled that promise. Several passages in the Old Testament point to the coming of the Messiah.
But you, O Bethlehem, Ephrathah,
are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel,
whose origins are in the distant past,
will come from you on my behalf. Micah 5:2
The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine. Isaiah 9:2
All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign.
Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
The New Testament gives us an account of Jesus’ actual birth in the gospels. In Luke 1:26-38, Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph. Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she will conceive and give birth to a son. She was to name the child Jesus. He told her, the child will be great and called the Son of the most High. He also told her that the child will reign over Israel and His Kingdom will never end. She replied, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”
Now fast forward to Luke 2:1-19
The Roman emperor called for a census. People went to their hometowns to register for the census. Joseph went with Mary who was pregnant to Bethlehem, Judea to register for the census. While there Mary went into labor. She gave birth to a son, wrapped him in strips of clothing and placed him in a manger. The Savior was born in a lowly stable. His parents had no place to lodge as all the inns in town were fully booked.
Meanwhile, shepherds were out in the fields nearby, watching over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared and shared the good news of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. A great company of heavenly hosts rejoiced at the birth of Jesus by praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men”
The Messiah has come. His assignment– to Make All Things New. His coming is a gift. He brings good news which is the gift of salvation and freedom to those who believe in Him. When we accept Him as Lord and Savior, he makes All Things New—our old life passes away and He gives us a new life….a new way of living and a new identity. He transforms us. He gives us a desire to have a relationship with Him.
As we look forward to celebrating Christmas, will you join me in reflecting on ways that Jesus makes “All Things New”
• How has God changed you in a new way?
• What is something new God has taught you about Himself in the last 12 months?