December 24 2022
Today, Saturday December 24
The Mysterious Miracle of Christmas
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Today, on this Christmas Eve, the whole world celebrates the greatest fact of human history and that is the birth of a baby born in a stable for animals in the little village of Bethlehem two thousand years ago. The secular world loves to call it just a story for Christians and they speak about the “magic” of Christmas. A time that the “spirit of Christmas” invades our lives and the spirit of giving and kindness seem to be more evident. The mean selfish Scrooge becomes a kind and giving person. And magical things take place.
But my friend, the real meaning and message of Christmas is far more than magical, it is a fact that is miraculous and one of the greatest mysteries that ever took place. How a virgin, who never had a physical relationship with a man, would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit is both mysterious and miraculous at the same time and beyond human comprehension.
God Himself comes into the world through the womb of a virgin to live a perfect human life without sin for thirty-three and half years and then die on Roman cross. But three days later He resurrected from the dead and appeared to many for forty days before He ascended back into heaven miraculously. We might not understand all this, but it is still a fact.
Matter of fact, every time anyone writes down the date, they are acknowledging that Jesus was born two-thousand years ago. We date our calendar based on His birth. Everything before is BC, and everything after is AD. which means “Year of our Lord”. It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, an atheist, or an agnostic, when you write the today’s date, you are acknowledging the fact of the birth of Jesus.
Years later Paul would write to Timothy and tell him, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
The angel told Joseph that His name would be called Immanuel which literally means, “God with us”. This was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 that was written almost six-hundred years before Jesus was born. And Joseph was specifically told to name the baby, Jesus, which means Savior, “for He shall save His people from their sins”.
The Christmas Message is Jesus! God manifested His love for us through Jesus Christ so that we might have forgiveness of sins and find real life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When we repent of our sins and by faith receive Jesus as God’s gift for our salvation, God Himself comes to dwell in us!
“Immanuel” means God loves us, God with us, God for us and God in us! How awesome it that! Yes, it is mysterious and miraculous, but it is a true fact, and one that can change everything for you and me!