“WHY IS CHRISTMAS SO SPECIAL?” By Pastor YAU
I Timothy 1:15-16 December 19, 2004
INTRODUCTION: One of the hot topics on the news in recent weeks is the increased hostility toward Christian faith by the secular society, banning of the display of Christian symbols such as the Nativity, the mention of Christmas and calling the Christmas tree a holiday tree or people’s tree in public places such as government building, schools and park, just to list a few. More and more schools had banned the singing of Christmas music in concerts at Christmas time. Many devout believers of Jesus mourned the loss of Christian heritage in the nation at large and the loss of the freedom of religious expression on personal level. Many wonder why secular activists are so much antagonistic against the Christian faith while fervently promote tolerance of other religions. Why is Christian faith so particular? Why has Christian faith become the target of secular attacks?
The birth of Christ is totally different from the birth of all other religious founders. The message of Christ had changed unknown number of people in a radical way no other religion had ever tried to match. What Christ had done in history is beyond human understanding. Why is Christmas so special? See what Apostle Paul had said in the Scriptural reference: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of who I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of all sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” Let us see the reason why Christmas is so special.
Who was born at Christmas? We all have our birthdays. But some birthdays are more important than others. The importance of a birthday is closely related to the person who was born. The birthday of Jesus is very special because:
1) Jesus was born as the Son of the Living God: Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God and was called the Son of the Living God. He was the Word of God who had become flesh to dwell among men. (Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1-2, 14) There was never any religious founder who was born Son of God.
2) Jesus was born as the Christ, the Savior: As the angel of God told Joseph, Jesus was born to be a Savior, the Deliverer of God’s people from the bondage and damnation of sin. (Matt. 1:1:21) He has come to die on the cross to bear the punishment of the sins of men while other religious founders all died as sinful men.
3) Jesus was born to bring reconciliation of men to God: Through his blood on the cross, Jesus paid the price of sin for all men that men may gain access to God for eternity. While many religious founders teach people how to conquer the sinful nature of men, Jesus opens the door through his body so men have access to God.
It was because all men had sinned, (Romans 3:23) and were conceived in sin, (Psalm 53:5) there is never a sinless person on early ever. Even though men had been searching for an ultimate solution for the problem of sin through philosophy, good deeds, self discipline and many other attempts, no one has every been able to break the power of sin in his life as testified by the Apostle Paul. (Romans 7:18-24) It is the birth of Jesus, the Savior who brings back the hope of life to man.
What does Christmas have to do with me?
1) Christmas is for ALL the people: As the message brought by the angels to the shepherds, the birth of Jesus, the good news of great joy, was for all the people, including every person born in history, you and me. Since we all are sinners who need a Savior, no one is excluded to receive this good news.
2) Christmas is for those who would confess their sins: As Paul confessed his sin and claimed to be the worst of all sinners, all who would confess their sins will receive the gift of forgiveness of sin and therefore eternal life. (I John 1:9) This is a personal decision and a personal reward.
3) The message of Christmas is worthy of full acceptance: The “FULL” acceptance is based on the trustworthiness of the message demonstrated by the new life of all men who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior through history. It also means to all men regardless of age, socio-economic status, education or any other classification. Since all men had sinned, all men need to believe in Jesus.
As Paul stated that Christ has unlimited patience to forgive him, 1Timothy 1:16, He will forgive all who are willing to ask and receive. Many people had mistakenly classified Christian faith as a religion. Christianity is not a religion. It is a saving faith in Christ, the Savior. This places Christmas miles away from all religions and therefore it is very special.
Conclusion: Most of the news we see or read from the media is bad news which can only burden our souls, but the news brought by the angel to the shepherds are good news as they proclaimed: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you, he is the Christ.”
This good news is for all the people and it is also for you. Have you received this good news? Have you believed in this Savior? If you do, you will have the great joy in your heart at Christmas.