TEEN TREE    OF LIFE

 

What Is Christmas, Really?

Part 2

December 24, 2017

 

BEFORE we begin, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, take a moment to name your sins to God the Father. This will allow you to be filled with the power of The Holy Spirit as you read this booklet (EPH 5:18 & 1JO 1:9). IF YOU HAVE never believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have that opportunity right now. Simply tell God the Father that you are believing on His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you make that decision, you are now a believer and will always be a child of God! When you die, you will spend eternity with Him forever in heaven! (JOH 3:16 & ACT 16:31).

 

Let’s now really focus in on Christmas and Jesus Christ. It all began in eternity past. In REV 13:8 He is called the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” In ACT 2:22-23, Peter wrote: “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know‑‑this {Man}, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put to death.”

 

Jesus Christ was born in a little‑known village, a child of a peasant woman: “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” (MIC 5:2)

 

Not much is known about Our Lord’s youth — from the time of His birth until the beginning of His Teaching Ministry. Did you know that? You can’t help wonder what He was like as a kid! In any case, there’s a verse in LUK 2 that says all we really need to know about His early life: And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? That’s what we should aim for as Christians – to be “in favor with God and men”? And of course to keep increasing in wisdom which simply means to keep studying His Word! This is one of the important reasons we celebrate Christmas — to honor the One that the apostle John wrote this about: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (JOH 1:14)

 

Jesus worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, according to LUK 3:23: And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age

 

Then He became a traveling preacher as we read in MAR 1:35-39: In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons. He was constantly on the road, traveling mostly to what is now Israel, mainly in the Galilean area. In His travels, He was usually accompanied by His apostles and other disciples (students) who were drawn to Him by His Wisdom. But Our Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t interested in popularity or becoming a celebrity. As He later said when He stood before the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (JOH 18:36). So, you see – popularity on earth is not what He was after and neither should we!

 

Jesus spent much of His time with the sinners and those people who had been rejected by society. Unlike many churches do today, He didn’t reject or ignore the very people who needed Him the most. This got the attention of the Jewish religious leaders. And soon, they felt threatened by Him and began making plans to silence Him.   When they accused Him of being from the devil, He responded in: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?” (MAT 12:34)

 

Jesus Christ never wrote a book; however, there is a book that was written about Him (and Christmas) which says in “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the roll of the book it is written of Me) To do Thy will, O God.’” (HEB 10:7) Notice that Jesus Christ says in this verse that He has come to do God’s Will! He is our example and that is what we are here on earth to do! That is a very important lesson for all of us!

 

            While still a young man, Jesus Christ would have public opinion turn completely and utterly against Him: He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” (MAT 13:54-57) But this didn’t deter Him or make him run in fear! He came to do The Father’s Will and nothing would stop Him. This is as it should be for you, too! So if you find yourself daydreaming during Bible class or trying to come up with an excuse not to even show up, remember how Our Lord acted!

 

Jesus Christ would see His friends running away from Him in times of trouble: And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.’” (MAR 14:27) In fact, Peter, who was extremely close to Him, would also deny Him (more than once!) and Our Lord assured him he would. Actually, all of His disciples would run away from him! But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too. (MAT 26:33-35)

 

Our Lord’s warning to Peter comes to pass in MAT 26:69-74: Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and *said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk [a]gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.

            Jesus Christ went through the mockery of a trial; in His Own Words, He said to his twelve apostles: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to mock and scourge and crucify Him, and on the third day He will be raised up.” (MAT 20:18-19)

 

We have studied how horribly they treated Him in order to silence Him. He was condemned because of a hysterical group of angry Jews who were urged on by the Jewish leaders who feared Him. Pontius Pilate found himself caught between the demands of the Jewish leaders and his fear of the Roman Emperor. Pilate didn’t want to condemn Jesus, but was eventually forced to give in when the crowd became unruly and the Jewish leaders reminded him that Jesus’ claim to be king was a challenge to Roman rule. So Our Lord was condemned to be executed on the cross.

 

He ended up nailed to a cross between two thieves: At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. (MAT 27:38) His executioners gambled for His only piece of property – His coat: And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. (MAR 15:24) Jesus Christ would have His body laid in a borrowed grave: Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been laid. (JOH 19:41)

 

Some non-believers see Jesus’ death as the tragic execution of a good man who tried to teach us to love each other, but got caught in the political turmoil of the day. But those of us, who truly know Him and the facts behind why we celebrate Christmas, know better! Did the Lord Jesus Christ come to bring peace on earth? NOT! We learn this from His Very Own Words: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.” (LUK 12:51-52)

 

So you’re no doubt asking, then why did He come to earth—why do we celebrate Christmas? Jesus Christ came to earth to present God to the human race. He came to teach the Truth. He came to reveal The Love of God for all mankind. But all this was secondary to His true purpose for coming. His true purpose was that He came to die for our sins and to pave the way for our Salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Death on The Cross was His triumph over Satan. This victory paved the way for Eternal Salvation for all who would believe in Him!!!

 

 

It has been over 2000 years since the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, He remains The Most Powerful and Influential Person Who ever lived! His Word has been passed on to us through the Bible, which is still the best-selling book of all time, in spite of the efforts of many scholars to pass it off as myth and fabrication. And His Word will live forever. For the word of God is alive and Powerful. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (HEB 4:12)

 

 

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