Jesus is the Reason for the Season
Kirk Franklin's song, "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season," highlights that Christ's birth signifies hope, love and salvation for Christians - making it imperative that they stay connected to its spiritual roots this holiday season.
Make an effort this Christmas to include Christ as part of your plans. This does not mean you should celebrate Christmas, because it is not commanded in the Scriptures.
The Birth of Jesus
Jesus' birth is one of history's greatest miracles. He came to save us from our sins, die on the cross for our forgiveness, and then rise again the third day - returning one day later with judgment for those who reject God and do not follow His Gospel message.
Also read: "How did God Speak Through the Ephod?
The Bible states that God worked behind-the-scenes to orchestrate Jesus' birth. When Mary became pregnant and Joseph tried to divorce her, an angel from the Lord stopped him. God knew when, how and where He wanted Jesus born just like He plans for our own lives to take place.
Gabriel visited Zechariah with news of this unbelievable event and was met with hisskepticism: "How shall this be?" However, Mary responded in faith by understanding what Gabriel meant and agreeing to be God's chosen mother of His Son.
Shepherds were initially stunned and terrified when angels appeared in their fields to inform them of an extraordinary new child, yet when the shepherds saw what had been promised them by Isaiah in Bethlehem they knew they must visit to verify what had been promised them by angels - this child was no ordinary king but divine in nature and his kingdom would last eternally! Being born from Heaven meant that his divine essence had always existed within Him from all eternity!
His Death and Resurrection
One of the central themes of the Gospel, is Christ Himself, His death and resurrection. Gospel writers devote more attention to this event in His life than any other because His ministry and death provide insight into God's character; understanding this foundational principle leads to lasting relationships with Him.
Jesus' crucifixion and death fulfilled Old Testament messianic prophecies about Him as an Old Testament messiah; He died and rose again to provide salvation for humanity and a means back to God. Additionally, His resurrection proved that He wasn't some lifeless martyr to mourn, but an eternal Lord reigning over his followers today.
Mark's account (and Matthew and Luke's as well) states that Jesus rose from His grave on Sunday morning. When His followers went to anoint his body on with spices for burial, they discovered the stone had been removed - this signaled to them that Christ had indeed risen! The angels then informed them he had indeed been victorious over death.
Paul, one of the main authors of the New Testament, wrote that without Jesus' resurrection, Christianity would simply be an empty hopeless dream. So as you enjoy shopping and cookies this season, remember to share the good news about Christ's birth, death and resurrection with those around you!
His Second Coming
Jesus taught the Gospel, bestowed divine authority, organized his Church, suffered and died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, ascended into heaven and then promised that he would return, not as the humble Nazarene we know today but in full glory as Lord of Sabaoth to take his people out of Earth to heaven - 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
The New Testament establishes the doctrine of Christ's Second Coming, also referred to as "the day of the Lord." This will mark his future return in order to claim His bride, redeem His creation and restore our humanity as one. God knows exactly when this momentous event will happen - when it does, all believers in Christ will receive glorified bodies as part of eternal soul reunion.
Early Christians understood that Jesus could return at any time and encouraged believers to remain watchful and alert for His coming. Although they couldn't know when exactly it would happen, just like Noah before him they should prepare by purifying themselves from sin and living according to Christ daily. John's Revelation shows how before His return there will be many catastrophic scenes and judgments; during these three seals alone we see an earthquake, sun being blackened, moon going dark without emitting its light, and stars falling from heaven!
The Great Commission
Jesus confirmed and clarified the ancient commission given to Adam and Eve by God back in Genesis 1:28: they should be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it (with an emphasis on subduing), have dominion over fish, birds, animals and everything that moved.
Jesus addressed not just a few disciples but the entire church that would follow them, encouraging all his followers to spread the Gospel throughout all nations and people groups that had never heard it, with his promise that he would always be there by their side, even at its end.
Jesus instructed his disciples to "baptize all nations." Baptism refers not only to symbolic cleansing from sin but also to immersing new Christians into water for cleansing from original sin and receiving the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20). Scholars believe Baron Justinian von Welz first used this term during 17th-century missionary efforts, although Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission popularized its use later. Many Christians continue taking this commission seriously today.
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