There are three days that stand out above the rest on the Christian Calendar. The first would be Christmas (the Birth of Jesus) the second would be Good Friday (the Death of Jesus) and the third would be Easter Sunday (the Resurrection of Jesus). I want to take a look at each of these and see how they are pivotal in the Christian world and how each one should be portrayed and why. I will not make a determination as to which is more important I am of the opinion that they are equally important and are at the top of all history with nothing even near it in importance.
Lets start with Christmas. This is the time we celebrate Jesus’s birth. We all realize that He was not born on Christmas day but this is a day that we use today to remember His birth and why He was born.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; forthe Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” 24 And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.
This passage give us the essence of what took place. There are many more passages like this in other books. The base concept we need to understand as Christians is that Jesus came from Heaven and took residence here on earth. He did this of His own free will.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ isLord, to the glory of God the Father.
This passage clearly states that by Jesus leaving heaven He willingly took a lower station in life for the express purpose of following the will of God the Father. Jesus was born into humble circumstances and lived in the same manner the whole time He honored His heavenly Father even to the point of death.
Why is this important? Why make such a big deal of His birth? Why not just honor His ever near presence? All good questions and worth asking. The point of Christians celebrating Jesus is to recognize His coming. There are many amongst us now and through out history who have stated that Jesus never existed and that He was made up for the express purpose of supporting Christianity. There are a number of ancient documents outside of Christianity that support His being born. Most folks believe He lived even if they do not believe He is God.
The birth of Christ is a big deal for a number of reasons the foremost being that God became man and dwelt amongst us. God dwelling among us is fantastic in fact so much so many question the viability of this statement. This is where Faith steps in. God expect us to have faith and without faith we are not able to please Him. He wants folks who will make the choice to believe He does not want robots who are forced to serve Him.
I believe we are indeed supposed to honor His ever near presence. I think we should at all times do this. When looking at Christmas from this perspective it is important to think of the celebration of His birth as a singularity in time. A time where God intersects with man in such a way that the entire world changed. Think of our calendar system for just one example. Our calendar system is based off of the birth of Jesus. This singular moment when God became man and came to earth where God lived with us (as in the garden yet different) where God was our friend, confidant, teacher, servant, savior and more. This is the one key pivotal moment in all of history where the One who started it all who spoke one word and history began is with us. That is you and me He is with you and me. It is this reason we celebrate Christmas. I realize that the date we celebrate is not His actual birthdate but since no one knows His actual birth date it works for me.
The next article in this series will be on Good Friday.