Whether people honor the birth of the world’s savior or celebrate a secular culture’s happy holiday season, it’s Christmas nonetheless and a time of reckoning. ♦
In a casual conversation she initiated about religions, I once asked a young Jewish coworker what she thought about Jesus. She paused and then stated “Well, I really don’t know very much about him. We just never spent a lot of time talking about him at home or synagogue” As she was raised in a faithful Jewish family, it was not surprising to hear her frankly admitted ignorance of the most important life in human history. Nevertheless her comments were quite ironic given that Jesus was the promised royal descendent of her Jewish/Hebrew ancestors and the anchor point of the Judeo-Christian faith. While her ignorance may almost be excused (by me if not God), unfortunately her relaxed dismissive attitude about Christ is reflected each year all around us at Christmastime.
Yes, Christmastime. A beautiful season of holly, lights, decorations, gifts, family and sentiments all around. Of course, Christmas and Easter are the two times each year where people feel compelled to pay their respects to a holiday/religious celebration that is more holiday than religion to them. While my Jewish and avowed secularist friends are consistent in their polite nod toward Christmas, I’m actually more intrigued by those who claim to be “Christians” – 79% of the US population (246 million), almost 30% globally (2.2 billion) – many who pay casual lip-service to the King of Kings.
I can almost understand the plight of the casual Christian, perhaps even the skeptical secularist. Think about it: we’re to accept that God (whose existence is a leap of faith in itself) came to earth in the form of a baby born to a virgin in a faraway land many years ago. He lived and died and rose from the dead and supposedly forgives the sins of all humanity who will live with him someday in heaven when they die. Okay. And people in our technologically modern culture with advanced higher learning and sophistication are supposed to believe this? Why? Because an ancient set of manuscripts say so? “Hmmm,” they’ll say. “And I always thought you to be such an astute person!”
“What More Evidence Do We Need?”
But be careful there. To quote the infamous words of the Jewish High Priest on the evening of Christ’s trial when Jesus was asked if he was the Son of God. Christ said “Yes, I AM” at which point Caiaphas ripped his clothes (a sign of protest) and sealed Christ’s death verdict for blasphemy with “What more evidence do we need?”
Ironically, it’s the same question for all skeptics and questioning Christians who doubt the full legitimacy of the standing of Christ as Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, and Savior of the World. They need only do their due diligence and study the manuscripts, search the Scriptures, read the Old Testament and New Testament, read the reviews, commentaries and objective historical record. (see Dec 6 post Christmas Prophecy and Typology). At the end of their analysis they will bow on their knees, confess their prideful sin and submit to follow the One True God. A tall order indeed. But many have done so and turned or awakened their lives to a new reality.
Truth by Analysis
It’s a math and a faith issue. Take the statistical likelihood that multiple prophecies could be fulfilled in one person. Much like fingerprint matching, the stats/numbers don’t lie. For instance, there are numerous (dozens) major predictions or prophecies in the Old Testament. Here are a few:
- Isaiah revealed manner of the Messiah’s birth (of a virgin)
- Micah predicted the place of his birth (Bethlehem)
- Genesis and Jeremiah specified his ancestry (a descendent of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) from the tribe of Judah, the house of David
- The Psalms foretold his betrayal, his accusation by false witnesses, his manner of death (pierced in the hands and feet, although crucifixion hadn’t been invented yet), and his resurrection (he would not decay but would ascend)
- Zechariah referenced 30 pieces of silver (payment for Judas’ betrayal), etc.
The statistical chance that just a handful of these would point to any one person in history is astronomical. Yet Jesus – and only Jesus throughout all of history – managed to do it. This has to be dealt with and reconciled by even learned and sophisticated people. Those who have searched have not been disappointed.
The season and the reason are real. Would that all of mankind pursue the question of real truth regardless they be Jew or Gentile. That even those believers on the proverbial fence of true commitment and devotion take a bold stand on the right side of a changed life altered by a loving and forgiving God who came as a baby born of a virgin who lived and died and rose from the dead. May we all honor and celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world.
Are you fully awakened to the truth that transpired on Christmas?
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” – Luke 2:10