At this time of year, it is easy to focus on the commercialism of Christmas. Catalogs, mall displays, TV commercials, and more all beckon us to buy into the idea that Christmas is about STUFF. But you and I know better. As Christians, we desperately want to pass on the true meaning of Christmas to our children.
But what is the true meaning of Christmas?
In previous articles, I have discussed the clues God gives us through the prophets that point to the coming Messiah. In particular, God uses Isaiah to communicate these clues. He gives the Israelites more clues about the coming Messiah than all of the other prophets before him combined.
True Meaning of Christmas – Who Is The Messiah?
Look at Isaiah 11: 2, "The spirit of the Lord will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord."
The Messiah will reflect the nature of God. He will be God's representative while on earth.
After Isaiah prophesies that the Messiah will be born of a virgin, he tells them that the Messiah will be of the root of Jesse. He will come from David's household and lineage.
The Messiah will be a King like his ancestor David.
True Meaning of Christmas – What Will Do When He Comes?
Look at Isaiah 11: 6, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the goat, the calf of the young lion and the fatling together. And a little child shall lead them. shall graze. Their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. "
The Messiah will bring peace. And this is no small gift. To a people who were used to fighting to protect their land and their families, peace is an oasis.
But peace is not just for the Jews. It will also be for the non-Jew, also known as the Gentiles. Look at Isaiah 11:10, "And in that day, there shall be a root of Jesse who shall stand as a banner to the people, for the Gentile shall seek him and his resting place shall be glorious."
Isaiah even gives us a sense of the angst that his people were feeling in 25: 9. It says, "And it will be said in that day, behold this is our God. We have waited for him. And he will save us. This is the Lord. We have waited for him. We shall be glad and rejoice in his salvation. "
The Messiah will bring salvation, something that the Jews have been waiting for for a long time. As a people who are continuously oppressed, they have longed for the Messiah who will make all things right and set them free from captivity!
But this is just the beginning. If you read Isaiah 61, you will see more news about what the Messiah will do. He will preach good tidings to the poor. He will heal the broken hearted. He will proclaim liberty to the captives and open the prison to those who are bound. He will proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God. He will comfort all who mourn.
Truly, these are amazing reasons to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And they give us something more noble, more holy to pass on than neatly wrapped boxes under a tree. They are the very gifts of eternal life and abundant life. They are the true meaning of Christmas.