We love the Christmas season, and forty-six percent of us call it our favorite holiday. (In case my wife is reading this, our anniversary in April is my favorite holiday.)
So why do we love this time so much?
- The family gathered together
- The food
- The decorations, lights, and trees
- The Christmas shopping
- The music
- The non-stop Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. (If you want to see my list of awful Christmas movies, click here.)
- The food (Yes, I repeated that one on purpose.)
- And, of course, Jesus in the manger.
The problem is not that we leave out Jesus in the manger. The problem is we leave Him there. Come January, we pack Jesus away, along with Santa. But Jesus didn’t stay in a manger. He grew up. God became a man with one goal: our salvation.
Jesus didn’t come to give us Christmas. He came to give us Easter.
Without the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, the point of Jesus coming to earth is gone. Without the fact that Jesus is alive today, His death on the cross becomes merely an unfortunate death.
Christmas is a celebrated time because it contains a hard-to-comprehend truth: God came to earth as a human being. Not half-man and half-God. He is 100 percent God and 100 percent man—at the same time. As a man, he identified with us and took on the death we deserve. As God, He did what only God could do: forgive us, redeem us and offer us a new life.
Look at the announcement to Mary and see the multiple references to Jesus’s humanity and His divinity.
“Do not be afraid,Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end…. The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
That wonderful truth is worth celebrating this Christmas.