Regardless of when or how you celebrate Christmas, the fact remains that Jesus was born!
We may “deck the halls with boughs of holly” and put on “our gay apparel” enjoying a “season to be jolly”, but all of this IS and should be a celebration of the fact that Jesus is born. Tradition is after all the transfer of customs and beliefs from one generation to another, and each generation adds to their practices or shapes them to suit themselves. Tradition is particular to a nation, culture group and even a family, it is, just that, tradition. Outside of all this tradition, is the core of what we are celebrating: Jesus’ birth. For us as believers, this is central to all tradition. Jesus Christ…
“who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness. (Phil 2:6-7)
I want to point out three things to remember when we say: Jesus was Born
- Jesus existed before He was born. His birth is not the start of Jesus. This explains Jesus’ statement when He declared, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58). Jesus eternally existed in the form (or nature) of God and His birth was the manifestation of Himself to mankind, a brief appearance on earth in eternity. He was not a separate god, but He was God by His nature, in His outward form or nature He was God. This nature is too wonderful for the human mind to comprehend and more powerful than all we know. Yet God desired to come to earth to purchase redemption for humankind.
- Jesus ‘re-clothed’ Himself, changed His form, to be a man, taking on the role of a servant and the image of a man. This means that Jesus humbled Himself to the level of His creation when He was in actual fact the Creator. Jesus made himself nothing, which in the original Greek means to make empty, vacate, relinquish. The only way Jesus could make an appearance as a man was to willfully, deliberately and temporarily let go of all the attributes we know as God. He gave up His heavenly glory and became a servant to God the Father in human likeness.
- Jesus was human. That phrase “by taking” is important, it is the miracle of Jesus setting aside who He is and becoming a new form, human flesh in the womb of Mary. In “human likeness” which means not just the visible likeness of man, but the human likeness of a man so that He was also tempted in every way just as we are tempted (Hebrews 4:15). He knows what we feel; He knows our weaknesses and scripture tells us, that even today, having known what it is to be man, Jesus intercedes for us with great compassion as our High Priest.
All of the above is what we mean when we say “Jesus is Born.” It does not matter how our traditions go about celebrating this, as long as we don’t get so caught up in our traditions and forget what it is that we are celebrating.
This is the start of our story of salvation, but it is not the start of God’s story. This miracle of Jesus birth is God Himself taking on the form and likeness of man to die on the cross so that we may become a part of God’s eternal family. His birth as man, in human likeness, was a prerequisite to being able to take on the sins of the human world on the cross. As a result, we are permanently saved from death and sin, set free to live an abundant life as God’s eternal child.
Jesus being born is the greatest gift to mankind. It is good news. It is the first step in redemption for mankind.
Jesus’ death and resurrection would be the final step. There is much to celebrate!
- Have you ever considered the significance of Jesus birth in human form to our redemption? How does this affect you, and what does it mean to you?
- How can you make sure that the real reason for Christmas: celebrating that Jesus was born, remains the focus of your Christmas celebrations and not just the exercising of tradition?
Jesus, my Lord, I do not think we as humans could ever comprehend the love You have for us that You would put aside all Your glorious attributes to become like us, in form a human being, but in nature a servant. This manifestation as a human included death on the cross as part of Your plan. By being born, You committed to death on the cross, so that I may know you in a personal relationship, become a child of God and live free of death and sin, both now and in eternity. Thank you, Lord for this gift as I celebrate Your goodness this Christmas.
Dearest Heart Treasure friend, wishing you and your family a joyous, blessed family celebration.
Michelle and the team.
How Will You Spend Christmas