What makes Christmas important to Christianity?

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The Christmas holiday comes but once a year, and yet is seen as the most significant of all the holidays. So much money is spent on presents for friends and relatives every year, and over 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone. But why? Is it so we can show how nice it is to share with one another? What makes it so important, especially in Christianity? Many have heard it all before; that it’s important because Jesus was born. But do most know why it’s significant that Jesus was born? Is there even any significance at all or is it just simply a nice story Christians tell  so as to include God in this holiday?

JESUS IS GOD

The first thing that must be firmly established is Jesus’ deity. Throughout the New Testament there’s many references that testify to Jesus as God. Many say Jesus never claimed to be God, but this is falsity straight from the pit. Though it is true He never said the words “I’m God,” this definitely doesn’t mean He never claimed divinity. For example. He said in John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.” and at this the Jews tried to stone Him. He also said He’s God when He told the Jews “before Abraham was born, I AM.” The Jews then picked up stones to stone Him, but He hid Himself (John 8:58-59). The fact that the Jews wanted to stone Him for blasphemy clearly shows Jesus was claiming His divinity, if not for the simple reason that they never stoned people for bad grammar. There’s also many other verses in the Bible saying Jesus is God (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Philippians 2:8; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:1-8). But this begs the question; why did Jesus come down to earth at all if He clearly wasn’t welcome?

WHY IT WAS NECESSARY FOR JESUS TO COME DOWN TO EARTH

Basically, if Jesus never humbled Himself to come live as a man, we’d all be living without any hope whatsoever. Granted there’s some who choose to reject Jesus and be accountable for this decision on judgment day, but the fact of the matter is we’d all be in their shoes if Jesus never came to pay our fine, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT JESUS BE FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN

Jesus needed to be both fully God and fully man in order to pay the penalty for our sin. If Jesus was just a man, then He would not qualify to pay the penalty for everyone’s sin (1 John 2:2). Only God can pay the infinite price of sin since He Himself is infinite. If Jesus didn’t come as fully man on the other hand, then He couldn’t represent all of mankind as a sinless man and offer the gift of salvation. “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). This is the significance of Jesus being born of a virgin. Jesus needed to be born of a woman to be fully man, but only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus were born by a sinful man and a sinful woman, then He would be born in sin just as we are, and therefore, not God. Mary being impregnated by the power of the Holy Spirit (His power, not through sex) was a workaround the imputed sin nature showing Jesus is still fully God and able to be a perfect man with the qualifications to pay for everyone’s sin.

WHAT MOTIVATED JESUS INTO SAVING US?

God’s love for mankind is what motivated Him to come down and save us. John 3:16 sums it up perfectly: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Love is the reason why Jesus came to represent mankind as a sinless man; to humble Himself and be made lower than the angels, to be born of a virgin and live in a world of pain and suffering, to be rejected and crucified for our transgressions. It was nothing we deserved, but was solely out of God’s unconditional love for us.

HOW ALL THIS RELATES TO CHRISTMAS

God’s love is the very reason why Christians celebrate Christmas. They celebrate as a refection of their gratitude towards Him. Though it’s true Christians are to show their gratitude towards God everyday, Christmas is a time of special remembrance of the birth of Christ. To give gifts to one another as God gave His one and only Son and to aid the poor and helpless just as Christ did for us on the cross. Christians give all their praise to God for His love and grace towards mankind. Thanks to the incarnation of Christ, believers can spend eternity with God and be saved from eternal punishment. Let us never forget the gospel message that’s ever so present in Christmas (Romans 5:8)!

***If you have never accepted the free gift of grace that God extends to all, and desire to receive it, then please read How do I become a Christian? or What is the Roman Road to Salvation?

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