“…they will call him Immanuel—which means God with us.” — Matthew 1:23
Jesus was actually here! Is that not amazing? In fact, when any person, regardless of their religious background writes down the year, they must recognize at the very least that time in history is divided up because of The Lord Jesus Christ. His appearance on Earth was so cool that someone decided that everything before Jesus should be called “Before Christ,” and every thing after Him should be called Anno Domini which means “the year of our Lord.” It doesn’t matter if you believe he really existed or really did not exist. It doesn’t matter if you believe He was God or was not God, when you write 2012 you are at least recognizing that time is divided because of this one man.
Christians recognize God as three distinct parts: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. I like to think of the Old Testament as God the Father. I like to think of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John as God the Son. Then, I like to think of the rest of the New Testament as God the Holy Spirit living inside of people. I used to think that the people alive today were the ones that got “ripped off” because we are the ones that have to live by true faith. In the O.T. they got to see the waters part. In the Gospels they got to see the miracles done by the Master Himself. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, Thomas, the disciple we have unfairly called a doubter simply wanted visible proof that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. He refused to believe until he physically saw Jesus. Jesus would show Himself to Thomas, but He said these words “blessed are those who believe and have not seen.” (John 20:29) That is me and you! Today, I don’t think I got ripped off. The more I let my selfish wants and desires die, the more His Spirit fills me up. I love growing in Him and really being able to feel Him in my heart and see Him work in my life.
This Christmas, I want to dwell on the fact that Jesus was actually here. God was literally with us!
Some of you know me personally, and some of you do not. But, suppose you knew me and one day I told you “I am God.” Some of you would laugh. Some of you would say that I was blaspheming God because “no man can be God.” Well, that’s exactly what they said to Jesus when He said or implied that He was God.
Now, suppose that after I told you I was God that I asked you to go to the hospital with me. You watched me go into room after room and heal people one after the other. We even take a trip to the funeral home and you watch me touch a corpse and the corpse comes back to life. Some of you would have no problem believing that I was God…especially if I was claiming the kingdom of God in the process. Others would still be hesitant. Some might even think I was using evil powers to do these amazingly wonderful things. Well, that’s exactly what Jesus did.
To top all this off, suppose I was murdered. Now, despite all the miracles, EVERYBODY says “it was a good run…but now he’s gone.” You go to my funeral and that seems to be that. Then, all of a sudden, I appear before you. Not only do I appear before you, I show myself to over 500 people and hang out on the Earth for 40 additional days before taking off back to Heaven like Clark Kent after he realizes he can fly. Well, that’s exactly what Jesus did. It was so cool and so awesome that people absolutely were willing to die, not for what they believed, but what they saw!
This Christmas, think about the fact that Jesus was actually here. The baby in the manger became the Savior of the World. He became my savior. We have a Bible with four separate accounts of His existence. People simply said “we HAVE to write this down because there has never been anyone like Him, nor will there ever be anyone like Him. Future generations HAVE to know about Him” To this day, there has never been and never will be a more widely printed or widely known book than the Holy Bible.
I heard an interview with world renowned Atheist Richard Dawkins one time. He was asked “If by some chance there really was a God, what would you ask Him?” Richard replied “Why did you take such great pains to hide yourself?”
It is amazing how two people can differ in opinion.
When I survey the wondrous cross, I can’t help but think that God took great pains to reveal Himself!
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 6:23