What is Christmas?
Every time Christmas comes, we become jubilant to meet our siblings, our parents, our friends, our relatives, our Church members, and other acquaintances. We gift gifts and cakes celebrating Christmas. A huge sum of money is spent to celebrate Christmas, both as individual and community. We celebrate proclaiming that the Savior of the world has come.
But how often do we realize why we celebrate Christmas? The easiest answer we can give without a pause is because of Jesus Christ- it is His birthday and He is our Savior. But how seriously do we take His birthday? How sure are we that He is our Savior? How deeply do we mean when we say Jesus Christ is our Savior? To what extent do we personally know Jesus Christ? Only when we know Him do really know the true meaning of Christmas!
What make Jesus Christ so uniquely different?
Everybody has a birthday, but no one’s birthday is as unique and as special as the birthday of Jesus Christ. Everybody dies, but no one’s death is as unique and as special as the death of Jesus Christ. In the whole world, no one’s birthday is celebrated like the way the birthday of Jesus Christ is celebrated. In the whole world, no one’s death is remembered like the way the death of Jesus Christ is remembered. Every Christian in the whole world celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ. Every Christian in the whole world remembers the death of Jesus Christ. Above all, there is no one’s RESURRECTION which is remembered and celebrated in the whole world than that of Jesus Christ’s.
Conversely, we regret someone’s birth. We wish that they had never been born. Even God regretted that He had made man. “The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain” (Gen 6: 6). Jesus Christ Himself also wished that Judas had never been born. “The Son of man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born” (Matthew 26: 24).
There are two ways of celebrating the deaths of people. The death of a good person is celebrated because he or she is in heaven. Mark Lawry, one of the Gaither Homecoming best singers in his video (Hollywood) narrates the deaths of wonderful old people whom he got to know through Gaither Homecoming and whom he loved. But Mark Lawry says that he is not grieving for them. He says he is not grieving for them because they are home (heaven). However, the death of a bad person is celebrated because he or she no longer is a problem. When Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, all the Americans celebrated his death in front of the White House. His death was welcomed throughout most of the world, including the United Nations, European Union, NATO, and some countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania, South America, and the Middle East (including Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, India, Israel, Indonesia, Somalia, Philippines, Turkey, Iraq, Australia, Argentina, and the rebel Libyan Republic) as a fitting end to a figure who inspired mass bloodshed.
On his birthday, Pharaoh (king) gave feast for all his officials. But it was on his birthday and in the presence of his officials for whom he gave feast Pharaoh hanged the chief baker. The chief baker was one of his officials. “Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials…but he hanged the chief baker” (Gen 40: 20-22). Again, on his birthday, Herod (king) gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. But it was on his birthday Herod had John the Baptist beheaded (Mk 6: 21-28). John the Baptist was a righteous and holy man (Mk 6: 20)
So unusual is the difference when Jesus Christ was born! Who has ever been born of a Virgin in the whole world? No one, except Jesus Christ. Whose birth has ever threatened a king in the whole world? No one’s, except Jesus Christ’s. Whose birth, life, and death have ever been foretold in the whole world? No one’s, except Jesus Christ’s. Whose birth place has any wise man looked for in the whole world? No one’s, except Jesus Christ’s. Who has ever ascended into heaven after death in the whole world? No one, except Jesus Christ. Whose life has ever been studied so much in the whole world? No one’s, except Jesus Christ’s.
Pharaoh was the king of the Egyptians and Herod was the king of the Jews. Both of them gave feast to their officials on their birthdays. But also it was on their birthdays that the chief baker and John the Baptist were killed. Jesus Christ also came as a king (John 18: 37) like Pharaoh and Herod. Every year there is feast on Jesus Christ’s birthday. But when Jesus Christ was born, the dead were made to live. Lazarus was raised from death after four days of his death (John 11) and the woman caught in adultery was saved from being stoned to death (John 8). Every year and everywhere the birth of Jesus Christ gives life to the dead (John 3: 16).
It was Judas Iscariot, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, who betrayed Jesus Christ. Resulting from this betrayal Jesus Christ was arrested by the Jews. Unfortunately, after betraying Jesus Christ Judas Iscariot committed suicide. It was Pontius Pilate who handed over Jesus Christ to be crucified. Unfortunately, a few years later (AD 39) Pontius Pilate also committed suicide. Both Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate took part in killing Jesus Christ. But both Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate killed themselves. Both Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate died and never resurrected. Because of Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, and Jesus Christ died on the cross. But Jesus Christ rose again from the death. Jesus Christ went to heaven. And Jesus Christ is coming back to take those who believe in Him also to be with Him in heaven (John 14: 3). That’s wonderful! That’s good news! He has reconciled humans to Himself.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14: 6). If we can save ourselves; or if there is someone other than Jesus Christ who can save us, Jesus Christ would never have said He is the way, the truth and the life, and that it is only through Him that we can come to the Father. If there is someone other than Jesus Christ who can save us, Jesus Christ would never have been born. But Jesus Christ was born so that He can save us. That is the reason why Jesus Christ is our Savior.