The True Meaning
by Polly Griffin
To understand the true meaning of Christmas, we must go all the way back to the beginning of creation.
God made a beautiful earth and heaven to be a home for His son, Adam. (Luke 3:38, Genesis 1:1 thru 3:24) Adam was made in the image and likeness of God, his father. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air. He brought them to Adam so Adam could give them names.
Also, out of the ground grew every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. At this time, there was no sickness, suffering or death.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (KJV Gen. 3:16-17)
God said that it was not good for man to be alone and so he caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam. God removed a rib from Adam and formed a woman from the rib to be his wife. Adam named his wife Eve. God had given Adam and Eve just about everything. They truly lived in paradise, the earthly heaven.
Now, in the garden of Eden was a serpent. This serpent was no ordinary serpent because it was Satan who had taken the form of a serpent. (Rev. 20:2) Satan is also known as the tempter, and the devil. He personifies evilness and rebellion.
The serpent tempted Eve and said:
"Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." (KJV Gen. 3:4-5)
So, Eve looked at the fruit and saw that it was good for food and pleasant to the eyes and she ate of it. She then gave some to Adam and he ate of it.
By eating of the forbidden fruit, Adam caused the downfall of man. God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and sickness, suffering, and death came upon the earth. Disobedience to God's laws brought about sickness and suffering.
In spite of Adam's and Eve's failures, God did not lose His love for mankind and promised that He would send a Savior to restore man back to the paradise state that He had intended for him. (KJV Gen. 3:15, Romans 16:20)
Throughout the centuries, the prophets told the story of a Savior that would come to earth to save the people from their sins and restore them to paradise. (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 6:10, Hebrew 9:12, Revelation 21:4)
About two thousand years ago that prophecy was fulfilled when a virgin named Mary became pregnant with a son that had been conceived in her by the Holy Ghost. This child was no ordinary child because He was the incarnation of the Word from heaven which came to earth in the form of God's only begotten son, Jesus. (KJV John 1:1-14, John 3:16, 1 Corinthians 15:47, John 8:23)
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." (KJV John 1:14)
Mary was engaged to Joseph when she became pregnant by the Holy Ghost. Joseph married her, but their marriage was not consummated until after the birth of baby Jesus.
When it was almost time for the child to be born, a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that a census of the whole world should be taken. This first census took place while Cyrinus was governor of Syria. And everyone was going to his own town to register.
And Joseph and Mary went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem. The town was crowded and since there was no place for them to stay in the inn, they went into a stable. Mary delivered her child there and placed Him in a manger.
All around Bethlehem shepherds were watching their sheep. Suddenly an angel of God appeared. The angel spoke:
"Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
And as the angel spoke, the heavens were filled with a chorus of angels proclaiming, "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:10-12 KJV)
God's great love for mankind was made manifest through the birth of His son. The long awaited promise of a Savior had now come to pass.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 KJV)
God's heavenly son was the only person that could save the world. The price for redemption was His blood. He paid this price upon the cross at Calvary when He was put to death. He conquered death when He was resurrected. His resurrection is celebrated each year at Easter time.
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:12 KJV)
Like Adam and Eve, everyone has a choice to make. Each of us must decide if we want to choose to follow Jesus which leads to life or do we want to follow Satan the evil one. His way leads to death. When we choose Jesus, we are reborn. We cast away the lineage of God's earthly son Adam, who fell from grace. We take on the lineage of God's heavenly son, Jesus.
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
Jesus has established His kingdom on earth for all eternity. His followers are His Church.
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
(Matthew 16:13-18 KJV)
Jesus is calling for workers to help the sick and suffering.
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:35-38 KJV)
Each year on December 25th, the birth of Jesus is celebrated. It is a joyous day for all!