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Welcome to a Special Christmas Edition of the Chaplain’s Corner. I was looking at a few Christmas articles and one of them was talking about holiday stress and telling people to prepare early for Christmas.
Well, you know most of these articles, they begin by telling you how to prepare like doing your baking early, avoid the Malls on the last Day before Christmas and these are indeed good ideas.
People who came out to hear John the Baptist had some preparing to do also, No, not for celebrating Christmas but for the start of Jesus Ministry. It was about 33 years prior to that that the Messiah as promised in the scriptures thousands of years ago even before that had come to pass and now Jesus was getting ready to start his ministry to do what he had come to do in the first place.
John the Baptist was telling people to cleanse their heart as preparation for Jesus to come by seeking God’s forgiveness for their sins. But let’s look back on that day 33 years prior to the beginning of Jesus Ministry, Let’s look back and remember his Birth because after all, it was one of the greatest even in all of human history, What was the first? I’ll share that in a few minutes with you.
Let’s look at Luke chapter 2: 1-21
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
Bible prophecy: Isaiah 7:14
Prophecy written: Between 701-681 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet Isaiah addresses the "house of David," meaning the family and descendants of King David, and speaks of a virgin being pregnant with a child, and giving birth to the child. Isaiah says this in the context of it being a sign from God. He also says that the child would be referred to as "Immanuel," which means, "God with us."
The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke record details involving the birth of Jesus, who was born about 700 years after the time of Isaiah, saying that he was born of the virgin Mary and is the Son of God. Because he is the Son of God, Jesus literally can be referred to as "God with us."
Bible prophecy: Micah 5:1-2
Prophecy written: Sometime between 750-686 BC
Prophecy fulfilled: About 5 BC
In Micah 5:2, there is a prophecy that reveals that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Messiah.
As pointed out in the book, 100 Prophecies, by George Konig and Ray Konig: "The prophecy is effective in a simple way: It eliminates all other cities and towns throughout the world as a place in which the Messiah could be born. It narrows the possibilities to one tiny village just south of Jerusalem."
And throughout the span of the past 27 centuries, from the days of the prophet Micah up through the present time, Bethlehem is credited as being the birthplace for only one person who is widely known throughout the world. And that person is Jesus Christ.
The New Testament books of Matthew and Luke name the town of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Matthew 2:1-6 describes the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.
And I’ve just listed two, Jesus fulfilled over 400 Prophecies and indeed He is the messiah. Now earlier I mentioned one of the Greatest events in the history of humanity, I believe it is a toss up between the first and the second but the other was Jesus raising from the dead.
Because Christmas was the beginning of the opportunity for the human race to be freed from their sins. While those in the Old Testament looked forward to the coming Messiah, we look back to the fulfillment and so Christmas is indeed the season that we remember Jesus Christ
This season can bring stress, specially to those who lost a loved one, Maybe your unemployed, maybe you discovered you have cancer, or perhaps you don’t even have anyone to share this Christmas with?
No matter what you are going, God cares about what it is that is happening to you. He sent Jesus to come and set us free for our sins and offer us Eternal life through his act of love on the cross.
The Bible tells us that for all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
Romans 3:10 and that:
The Wages of sin is death but the gift of God is Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
The message of Christmas is to hear the Good News as the Angels proclaimed to Shepard’s that Christmas where Jesus was born.
God’s Greatest Gift was his son Jesus for you. Will you not open your heart if you do not know him and make him your Lord this Christmas? Maybe you have slipped away and you don’t feel he’s near, you too can come back, Jesus forgives and waits with open arms. So Come won’t you today?
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