THE TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS
Christmastime is a time of wonder, a time filled with much fantasy and make-believe …and much eternal truth.
There are many sweet legends connected with Christmas. These stories have been handed down from family to family over many years, often changing a bit from culture to culture, and over the course of time. It seems almost everything Christmas-y has a legend attached to it. There are legends about candles, about poinsettias, about the Christmas tree, about a drummer boy, and about a jolly old man in a red suit.
One of my favorites is the legend of the candy cane. It tells of a candy maker who wanted to make a candy to symbolize the Christ of Christmas. So he made a candy cane shaped as a shepherd’s staff and turning it the other way, it’s a “J” for Jesus! That’s a nice story. But is it true?
These many Christmas legends may entertain or teach a good lesson. They may add charm and fun to the holidays. They may even have a kernel of truth in them, wrapped up in the fancy imaginations of the storyteller. But they are not the truth of Christmas. Legends and truth should not be confused.
THE CHRISTMAS STORY
Even some Christmas stories about the birth of Christ, though based on the Bible, may have some details in them that are not necessarily true. Some of this might be called poetic license. Writers, storytellers, and artists might fill in details that are not in the Scripture sometimes to make a picture complete.
For example, Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, is often pictured clothed in blue. Do we know she wore blue? No. Does the Bible say she wore blue? No. But that’s been the color associated with Mary for some time so it continues to be popularly used. Some color had to be chosen by an artist. At least blue is a color associated with Israel, the country where Jesus was born.
Today when a baby is born everyone wants to know the date, the time and the baby’s weight. Was Jesus a chubby baby? Did he have hair on his head at birth or was he a bald baby? We don’t know. We don’t have any of these details about Jesus’ birth. We don’t even have the exact date of his birth for sure! Most likely, Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. But December 25th is the date on which the birth of Christ has been traditionally celebrated for a long time. The date is not so important.
The fact that God came here to live on earth in human form is what we need to know and celebrate!
THE TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS
The real truth of Christmas may be found in the Bible. What is written in the Word of God is absolutely the truth. The details that are recorded in the Bible often confirm the prophecies, the promises about the Messiah that God made long before the Son of God was born.
So what is the real truth of the Christmas story?
The truth of Christmas is a promise kept.
“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel’ (which means “God with us”).” (Matthew 1:22-23)
The truth of Christmas is Emmanuel. God came to live with His people.
The truth of Christmas is the promised Messiah. Our Savior was born, as prophesied of old, to a virgin in Bethlehem.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
The truth of Christmas is that “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The truth of Christmas is the joy of knowing God loves us and we see that love for us throughout the life of Jesus!
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10)
The truth of Christmas is God’s “goodwill towards men”. God is “for us, and not against us”.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)
The truth of Christmas is knowing Jesus Christ, the Savior, the God-Person who is the Truth.
“Jesus said to him, “I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
You can have hundreds of gifts under the tree but if you don’t know for yourself the Lord Jesus Christ, you don’t know the real truth of Christmas!
The truth of Christmas is the greatest gift of all!
May you know the truth of Christmas. The truth of Christmas is Jesus Christ, our Lord Emmanuel! Receive this free gift of God – Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ! How do you receive?
Open up your heart, believe in Him, and say “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus Christ!” He will make Himself known to you. Merry Christmas!