Faith & Insight: Christmas re-focus? From cradle to cross | NevadaAppeal.com

Faith & Insight: Christmas re-focus? From cradle to cross

Pat Propster
Calvary Chapel Carson City

How do you respond when somebody asks you what Christmas means to you?

Obviously, we would answer by how we enjoy it, participate in it or celebrate it. As a Christian, how do we explain the real history of the meaning of Christmas? Getting past the trees, lights, gifts, festivities, foods and candies to heart of the matter? Many church traditions that have depth shallow after years of use.

How do we refocus?

Simply remembering why Jesus came, not just seeing his arrival.

The Old Testament had constant reminders for a forgetful people, as do we.

Christmas is about hope, peace, joy, love and especially salvation. Christmas is about promise, prophecy, proclamations and the Lord's presence. Emmanuel, God with us.

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"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

Why?

Countless prophecies of promise written hundreds of years prior to Christ's birth foretold of it exactly.

Seven hundred years prior to Christ's birth, Isaiah 7:14 says, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel." Also, Isaiah 9:6 says, "For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, prince of peace."

Six hundred years before his birth, the prophet Micah foretold of his birth place when he said, "But you, Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one will be a ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times."

Four hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the prophet Malachi spoke of a forerunner who would speak and prepare a way for him. He said, "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the Lord almighty" (Malachi 3:1).

These are amazing details to ready mankind for his Advent, his arrival, his coming.

We celebrate his arrival. His birth is the gift of Christmas.

We still need to ask why? Amazingly detailed prophecies that were also given hundreds of years before his birth tell us. As with his birth are detailed writings of how and why he came to redeem us from sin and death through the sacrifice he paid through the crucifixion. His love brought him, his sacrifice redeems us, his resurrection gives us life and hope.

"From crown and throne

To a cradle in a stable,

From the cradle to the cross,

From the cross to the grave,

From the grave to life

His life conquered death

From grave to throne."

What is the reason for the season of Christmas?

Most of us would see Jesus is the reason for the season.

But what if you were to ask Jesus that question?

He would say, "You are."

Jesus is the gift of Christmas, our best gift; as we give our lives to him and receive his salvation, we become his best present.

To you: Merry Christmas.

From: Calvary Chapel Carson City.