By Rev. S. V. Nathan
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,
I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
“A television interviewer was walking the streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, “What is the meaning of Christmas?” Laughing, she responded, “I don’t know. Is that the day that Jesus died?” There was some truth in her answer (Donald Deffner, Seasonal Illustrations, San Jose: Resource, 1992, p.16). That is the reality of the world today at large. It won’t be shocking, if in near future even we ask our children or grandchildren, what the true meaning of Christmas is, they may answer as the woman in Japan did.
It is very sad to see that the essence and the value of Christmas is lost even among many Bible-believing Christians. The focus has changed to holiday; the season is more about receiving gifts and decorating the house! The very peripheral things have become more important than any spiritual and eternal value. With that thought I want to draw your attention to modern Christmas celebration and how it differs from the Biblical Christmas. What are the core components of the real Christmas? Let me highlight two things in the angel’s message in Luke 2:10 -11.
1. Christmas is All about the Saviour (vs 11):
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”.
First the message is about the Saviour. In verse 11, the angel announces the Birth of “a ‘Saviour’ Christ the Lord”. “The word “Saviour” properly denotes one that perfectly frees us from all evil and danger, and is the author of perpetual salvation.” Christ, having the same divine nature with the Father, with all the infinite and unspeakable glories, came to earth save us from eternal damnation, and give eternal life to those who place their trust in Him. He could not provide forgiveness and life without coming to earth, because there had to be a payment for the sin of the human race.
Our world doesn’t know, and instead they think that Christmas is about gifts under a tree and a spirit of good cheer, with Christmas dinner and family around the table. But as good as all that may be, it isn’t nearly as good as the Real Christmas. The Real Christmas message is this: God has sent a Saviour for us to save us from our sins and to help us in this life by lifting our burden and easing our fears. God sent a Saviour who is Christ the Lord — God himself! The world is gripped by fear. But fear’s hold has been broken in those of us who believe the angel’s words. What is the core component in your Christmas? Is it Saviour-Centered? Whatever we do this Christmas, let us remember that Christ the Saviour is the Reason for the Season. We praise God that every Christmas is a reminder to all “A Saviour Born”.
2. Christmas is for Sinners (vs 10):
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: … good tidings of great joy, … to all people.
Second the message is to the sinner. The announcement from the angel came “to all people” (vs10). A Saviour is born for all humanity on this earth – without any discrimination. The message of the angel to all sinners was “fear not” and it is a ‘good tiding of great joy”. Why is it a good tiding? Because a Saviour is born to rescue and redeem the people from the hand of Satan, Sin and from eternal condemnation.
That’s what Jesus came to do for us. Do not be afraid because God has sent a Saviour to us – Jesus Christ the Lord. He is the One who will never leave us or forsake us. He will supply all our needs according to his riches in glory and add to us all the things we need as we seek him and his Kingdom. A Saviour is a deliverer and preserver of every sinner who calls Him Lord and Saviour. Once we were sinners, but now we are His children by His redemption. Are you bringing the same good news to the unsaved sinner to Christ as the angel? Let this Christmas be sinner-focused in your life.
Finally, as someone said about, “Our greatest need at Christmas”: “If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour. (Source Unknown, http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/christmas.htm). Is it not true? Without the Saviour- there is no real Christmas. Is Christ the Saviour anywhere in our Christmas? Is our Christmas Saviour-centred or self-centred? Often I saw a Christ-less Christmas even among believers. Let us follow the Bible which gives us a Christmas that is Christ-centred, Christ-exalted, Christ-magnified, Christ-glorified, Christ-proclaimed.