There once was a little child who, while in Sunday School, was asked to recount the Christmas story. He thought for a moment. Then, very earnestly, he said, “There was a boy who wanted a BB gun, but he shot his eye out.” His teacher, holding back a laugh, thanked him, but added, “I didn’t mean that Christmas story.”We all enjoy countless Christmas movies when this wonderful season arrives each year. We settle in with some hot chocolate and a warm blanket, as the Christmas tree glows and snow falls outside. It seems like everyone knows every one of these stories, even every line of dialogue, by heart. From a grouchy, old miser in Victorian London to a human raised by elves at the North Pole, these yuletide tales are well-known.
Are You Familiar with the True Christmas Story?
But do you know the Christmas story, the true Christmas story? Are you familiar with the real “reason for the season”? We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want everyone to understand the true story behind the holiday. We enjoy the Christmas season so much, with all of the lights, traditions, gifts, and warm feelings. But it’s all superficial if you miss the real meaning. This month, let’s consider the genuine purpose behind this season, the true Christmas story. Let’s consider the birth of Jesus Christ.
We’ll Tell You the Truth of the Christmas Story
According to an article from worldpopulationreview.com, 160 countries worldwide celebrate Christmas in one way or another. But those numberless celebrations all point back to one night more than 2,000 years ago. They point back to a little town outside of Jerusalem, to a seemingly insignificant stable, to a manger full of hay.
Joseph and Mary Made the Trip to Bethlehem
Rome ruled most of the world. The Roman emperor, Augustus Caesar, had placed a tax on the entire empire. To obtain a correct count of people for the taxes, everyone had to return to the city where they were born. A young man named Joseph, who lived in Nazareth, packed up his belongings and, with his pregnant fiancée, Mary, began his journey. They traveled nearly 100 miles to reach the town of Bethlehem, outside of the capital of Jerusalem. Among the many, many travelers, there would have been seemingly nothing different about these two young people. But the whole of history centered on this trip to Bethlehem.
God Chose Mary to Give Birth to His Son
To understand the significance of this “insignificant” couple, let’s look back a few more months. An angel visited both Mary, who was still a virgin, and Joseph. This angel told them that God chose Mary to give birth to His Son, the promised Messiah of so many prophecies.As they traveled those long miles to Bethlehem, Mary drew closer and closer to labor. When they arrived in town, Joseph searched everywhere for a place to stay. But, with the many travelers like themselves, all they could find was a shabby stable behind a local inn. It was here where the hopes of the past and the confidence of the future would meet.
Born in a Stable, Only Visited by Shepherds
That very night, Mary gave birth to her son. They named him Jesus, in accordance to the words of the angel. In the Bible, Matthew 1:21 reads, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” This boy – God’s Son, the promised Messiah, the King of the Jews – was not born surrounded by the adornments of a palace.
Royal Town Criers Didn’t Announce the Birth of Jesus
Royal town criers didn’t announce His birth to the entire land. In fact, the only birth announcement that night came from a host of angels to mere shepherds in a field. Why is that? It is because Jesus came for everyone, not just the rich, the powerful, and the royal. His purpose was to save the entire world from a curse, the curse of sin.
The Christmas Story Includes You
So then, what is the significance of Jesus’ birth? Why is it vitally important to us, more than 2,000 years later? It is important because the Christmas story also includes you. Jesus came to save the world from their sins. John 3:16 in the Bible reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” That includes you.
All Humans are Born Sinners
Our sins condemn us. All of us have done wrong things. And even though God loves you more than you can imagine, He is holy. This means that He cannot be in the presence of sin. Sin is anything that goes against God’s law. Just like a criminal in court, we deserve punishment for what we have done. That punishment, according to Romans 6:23, is death. This is not just physical death, but spiritual death, too. That means separation from God forever in a place called Hell. But God loved you so much that He made a way for you to have eternal life.
Know God’s Way to Heaven and Eternal Life
God cannot just forget or cancel our sins. There is no justice there, and God is a just God. They must be punished. He, however, made a way through His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born that night long ago with one purpose. That purpose was to be your substitute, to take your punishment. God offered a perfect replacement, to pay the debt for your sins. Jesus willingly became that replacement. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…” What was that joy? His joy is spending eternity with you. Jesus loves you, and He died to pay for your sins. He took your sin debt, made it His own, and died on a cross, 33 years after being born in a stable. And since your debt is now paid in full, there are no rituals you have to perform, no good works to complete, or no church to belong to. Then, how do you obtain this eternal life? You just have to call out to Jesus to save you.
His Death on the Cross Will Give You Victory Over Death
When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave three days later, He finished all of the work, and gave you victory over death. He now holds eternal life for you as a gift. What do you do to get a gift? You just receive it. Realize that you are a sinner. Realize that your sin condemns you to death. Realize that there is nothing you can do to save yourself. And realize and believe that Jesus paid the price for your sins on the cross. Pray to Him, ask Him to save you, and you will have eternal life.
The Christmas Story Has the Happiest Ending of All
While gifts are a big part of many Christmas celebrations, the Christmas story is the tale of the greatest gift ever given to mankind. Jesus was born to die on the cross 33 years later for your sins. All Christmas movies have happy endings, but this true Christmas story has the happiest ending of all. You are a sinner, but Jesus died for your sins. Now, you can have eternal life by believing and asking Him to save you.If you want to know more about how you can have eternal life, please contact us at The R.O.C.K. Club. We are a Christ-centered childcare and educational organization in Radford, VA, serving the New River Valley. We want you to experience the freedom and victory that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ. This Christmas, make the best decision you could ever make, and accept the greatest gift ever given. Trust Jesus Christ to save you today.For more information on The R.O.C.K. Club’s Christ-centered childcare and educational programs, call us at (540) 267-3000. We want to help you understand how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This Christmas season, experience the lasting joy that comes through understanding the Christmas story.