Saturday, December 7, 2013



It may seem redundant to say that Christmas is about Christ. However, surely in a consumerist society we need to be reminded of this annually. Christians have the Secularists agreeing with them that Christ is the reason for the season, for, after having had some success they now wish completely to remove Christ from Christmas. Why? because they have no room for Jesus in the type of society they envisage. However, this is nothing new. Christ is used to being shunned.

Joseph and Mary, when she was just about to give birth to Jesus, were turned away from an inn because there was no room for them (Luke 2:7). Therefore, Jesus was shunned even on the very first Christmas. Indeed, lots of people had no room for Jesus, ‘He is rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him’ Isaiah 53:3. And, ‘He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him’ John 1:11. Why all this rejection at His birth and at His death? Well, this is where the Gospel comes in.

The Gospel is the good news that God has reconciled mankind to Himself through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God (the Middle Person of the Trinity) in the flesh (John 1:1-2; Matthew 28:19). He is the Mediator between God and men (1Timothy 2:5). Now, if we need to be reconciled to God and if we need a mediator then this must mean that we are having a dispute with God. It must mean that we have no room for Him. Having no room for God began in the Garden with our first ancestors, Adam and Eve. They exercised their free will and decided that they wanted to live in a state exactly as that sought after by today’s Secularists. They, and all mankind after them, wish to live their lives without any interference from God (Romans 3:11-12; 5:12f.). Therefore, is it any wonder that God in the flesh, i.e., Jesus, is rejected? God became a social outcast in the Garden. He became a social outcast when Israel rejected Him over and over throughout the Old Testament years. In the flesh He became a social outcast on the very first Christmas Day. Indeed, He was a social outcast as He hung dying on a cross, ‘But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people’ Psalm 22:6. Yet many, who perhaps would not ordinarily, awaken on Christmas morning in Western societies and take the time to consider the plight of social outcasts and even desire to give them food and clothing. Christmas has that effect on some people!

The Hebrews became a nation under Jacob when Joseph enabled his family to enter Egypt to live there (Genesis 42). In Egypt Israel settled in Goshen (Genesis 46:34). Why Goshen? The Hebrews were shepherds, and, ‘Every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians’ Genesis 46:34b. Why Israel’s fixation with sheep? It was because of the Old Testament sacrificial system. It prefigured the shedding of Christ’s blood as, ‘The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). On the day of His birth Jesus, the Lamb of God, was visited by shepherds (Luke 2:15-17). Afterwards, Joseph took Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod who wished to murder Jesus (Matthew 2:14-15). The baby Jesus, ‘that great Shepherd of the sheep’ (Hebrews 13:20) was rejected by King Herod on the very first Christmas Day. He is rejected by many today. Do you have any room for Jesus in your world this Christmas?

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