The Hope of Christmas
Tragically though, many only hear the invitation, not understanding the reality of what is being promised through the story of Christ. They stop short of truth, satisfying themselves with a secular version filled with candy canes and Christmas trees, but with no redeeming faith in Jesus.
Christmas comes and goes leaving behind a warm feeling as they charge back into self-centered lives in the first weeks of January.
The Christmas story, is the Gospel. The good news that Jesus became a flesh and blood human being to take the wrath of God for human sin.
In my 57 years of life I’ve watched the world enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas, while at the same time, becoming increasingly hostile to its true meaning. There’s a lot of talk about peace and love, but we better not use the name of Jesus, display a nativity scene, or even use the word Christmas, because it might be offensive to our politically correct culture.
The reason for this is the same reason King Herod sought to kill Christ in the first century.
Mt 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” 16 When Herod realized that the Magi had outwitted him, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”
King Herod asked the Magi to come back and report to him when they found the Christ child. He said that he also wanted to worship the new born King, but that was not Herod’s true motive. What he really wanted to do was kill Him, so he would have no competition for the throne. Herod saw Jesus as a threat to his position as king.
This is also the true motive of all those today that hate Christmas and the Name of Christ. They, like Herod, want to destroy the threat to their own personal kingship and moral independence.
But they have a real problem – Jesus doesn’t stay dead. The Bible says, death can’t hold Him.
Ac 2:24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.
No human being can ignore Jesus. We will ether bow to Him now in response to His love and shed blood on the cross, or later in response to His power and wrath at the judgment.
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So, as we consider the message of Christmas today, let us see its true meaning of hope, let us bow our knee to Him now, and let us boldly proclaim, Merry Christmas, with all its true force and meaning.
Merry, Merry Christmas.