What does Christmas mean to you on a personal level? For some it is nothing more than a holiday for shopping and giving. Others see it as only a celebration of a historic religious figure. To those it is only head knowledge. Christians view it as a time to commemorate the birth of the Savior, Jesus. It is on this level that the message of Christmas is a heart-transforming issue. For many throughout history, Jesus coming into the world has resulted in lives being totally changed. This is why Christians hold on so dearly to keeping Christ in Christmas.
The biblical story recorded in Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2 reveals that the young teenage girl, Mary, was “found to be with child by the Holy Spirit” and “it is he who will save His people from their sins.” His name will be called “Immanuel, which translated means, ‘God with us.’ There has been born “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Christmas is really all about God supernaturally coming into the world apart from any human natural process. God intervened in the affairs of mankind to offer forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation to an undeserving humanity in need of His grace. The first step toward having a life transformed by the message of Christmas is to accept that all of this literally happened. It was such an incredible event that Jesus is the only person ever born who separated history into two parts: B.C. and A.D.! What is even more astounding, and crucial to understand, is that Jesus already existed before He was manifested in the form of a baby. The finite mind cannot understand how all of this can be, but scripture teaches that it must be accepted by faith. “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God”(I John 4:15), because “there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved”(Acts 4:12).
God came down to humanity’s level. That is what Christianity is all about, and what makes it different from mere religion. There is a saying that religion is man’s attempt to reach God through good works, but Christianity is God coming down to reach out to people on our level. When you come in humility and faith to accept what God has done for you by sending his son (actually the second person of the Trinity) into the world, you will come to know in your heart the real message of Christmas. You will come to realize that Jesus came to eventually die upon a cross for your sins, and rose literally from the grave(the only religious leader to ever do so) to defeat death, thereby giving you eternal life. Your heart and character will be transformed. This is the full story behind “Merry Christmas.”
Accept by faith the literal and biblical story of Christmas. God’s Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) will indwell your heart. You will have a personal encounter with Jesus, still alive 2,000 years later. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You will then come to know the personal message of Christmas.