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Celebrating Christmas

Once again christians around the world will be commemorating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Anyone is free to celebrate Christmas in any way they choose but for “born-again” believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we recognize the true meaning of Christmas.

The date of Jesus’ birth is not recorded in the Bible. For many years, December 25 has been observed and celebrated as His birthday, by both christians and non-christians. The fact is that Jesus came into the world over 2,000 years ago, at which time the angel proclaimed, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The Bible says, “But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Galatians 4:4,5).

The prophet Isaiah accurately predicted Jesus Christ would be born some 700 years before His actual birth. Isaiah saw that while the people were walking in darkness, a light also shined upon them. This meant that joy would replace despair. And he declared, “Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ has fulfilled all of Isaiah’s predictions.

A CHILD IS BORN. This is in reference to His human nature and being born of a virgin. “The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son” (Isaiah 7:14). Christ in His humanity was just like us except that in Him there was no sin. He knew what it was to be thirsty, weary, sleepy, and hungry. He was subject to temptation as we are. Hebrews says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

A SON IS GIVEN. This means His divine nature and He being God’s Son. Paul states, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:5-8). Because He was the "God-man," He was able to bear our sins on the cross. Christ was given for our salvation. He is called the “Word.” John wrote, “The Word became flesh and dwelt (or “tabernacled”) among us” (John 1:14). Jesus was “very God of very God.” “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). The deity of our Lord Jesus Christ is foundational to the Christian faith.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us also consider the great significance of the names Isaiah predicted Jesus would be called.

Jesus is called “Wonderful Counselor.” He is our daily counselor, whether via the scriptures or during our thought processes or our personal circumstances. He declared: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Our allegiance must be to Him as He represents us before God. Jesus has great wisdom, knowledge, and understanding which is beyond compare. “In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). He knows everything about us and He will meet our needs. ”For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). We can reliably put our trust in Him. Today, He sits at the right hand of our Majestic God in heaven - a position of divine power and supreme authority.

Jesus is called the “Mighty God.” The Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus was not only a great prophet or a great teacher, or a great miracle worker. It was predicted that “His name shall be called Immanuel, which means ‘God with us” (Matthew 1:23). It is also stated, of the Son, [God] says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and and ever” (Hebrews 1:8). As the Mighty God, He is omnipotent and “He upholds all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). This tells us that He possesses incomparable strength and might. Jesus declared of Himself, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Me” (Matthew 28:18). He is all-powerful, almighty, supreme, and preeminent.

Jesus is called: “The Everlasting Father.” Jesus our Lord shall forever be. Didn’t He say, “I and the Father are one.” God the Son is the Everlasting Father. Jesus stated, “I and My Father are one . . . know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father. (John 10:30, 38). David said, “Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” And Jesus Christ, is also the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Jesus always was, and He has never ceased to be. He ever lives to make intercession for us. He ascended to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand. Of Him the scripture says, “Your years are throughout all generations … You are the same, and Your years will have no end” (Psalm 102). And again Isaiah wrote, “Of the greatness of His government and there will be no end” Isaiah 9:7). May we truly recognize His ongoing presence in our lives.

Jesus is called: “Prince of Peace.” This is one of Jesus' great attributes. At His birth, the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). Jesus reconciled us to God, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “For He Himself is our peace, who has broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Ephesians 2:14). Before we came to know Christ, we were enemies to God (Romans 5:10). But through His death we now have, and enjoy great peace with God because He made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20). Paul also told the christians at Rome, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). We can rest assured that our peace is an abiding peace with God, procured for us by the “Prince of Peace,” Himself. Peace is also the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).

These are things worth considering as we commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ during this Christmas season.