Last year just before Christmas, I viewed a short video called The Twelve Crazy Days of Christmas. What this video was trying to depict was how our modern celebration of the Christmas season is driving us crazy with all kinds of stuff that really isn’t important. In the end, we miss the joy of Christmas. Here’s the truth: God never intended for it to be this way. This is not what Christmas is supposed to be like. The angels on that first Christmas night proclaimed “Peace on earth and goodwill to people” not “have a very crazy Christmas”. You see, God on that first Christmas was really proclaiming that Christ had come to take the craziness out of the world and out of our individual lives. Christmas is for peace and joy and hope. Christmas is an expression of God’s love. How could such an expression become so crazy?
This month I would like to briefly focus on some key things to reflect upon as we approach this Christmas season. My hope for you this Christmas is to experience not “crazy days” but joyous ones as we celebrate the great gift from God – the coming of the promised Messiah who is our Lord Jesus Christ! While space will not allow for an exhaustive look, I do want to highlight a few key Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah (Christ) that were made about 700 years before the birth of Jesus but were fulfilled in His coming and therefore, give us reason to celebrate.
1. God’s Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), to be born of a virgin, and to be called “Immanuel – God with us” (Isaiah 7:14). This prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:20-23, Matthew 2:4-11).
2. God’s Messiah would come to save the entire world (Isaiah 49:6-7 and 61:1-2). This prophecy was fulfilled in the life of Jesus (Luke 2:8-32, John 3:16-17, Hebrews 1:2-9).
3. God’s Messiah would provide salvation by dying for our sins (Isaiah 53:2-12). This prophecy was fulfilled in the death of Jesus (Matthew 20:28, 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Peter 2:23-24).
Here’s the thing: Christ didn’t come to bring chaos to our lives. He came to bring peace, love, joy, and hope. He was born, He lived, and He died for that purpose. This is what Christmas is all about.
Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promise to fix this crazy world. These prophecies clearly demonstrate that fact. So why does this world still seem so crazy? Here’s the truth: The world will remain crazy until everyone in it understands and accepts who Christ is, why He came into this world, and allows Him to have control of their lives. But until that happens, those who profess Him as Lord do not have to live a crazy life and certainly shouldn’t experience craziness at Christmas. The reason Christ-followers have so much craziness in their lives is because they have too much of this world and too little of Christ in their lives.
Jesus promised that we can have real life. Not just any kind of life, but rich, abundant life (John 10:10). That means a full and complete life of peace, love, joy, and hope. This full and complete life can be experienced now even as we live in this crazy world. If you want less craziness in your life, then all you need to do is put more of Christ in it! The world around you may not change, but you will. This is good news. But here is the really good news - He also promises that He will come again and make all the craziness disappear for good. That’s God’s promise for those who have accepted His Good News in this life. God has kept all His promises in the past and so we can have absolute confidence that He will keep this one as well.
This is why we can celebrate Christmas. God promised and delivered the greatest gift of all. Christ, Immanuel (God with us), has come. Those of us who have put our faith in Him can celebrate the gift of peace, love, joy, and hope in this life in the midst of all its craziness but also we can celebrate that He will come again to give us eternal peace, love, joy, and hope in a new world void of all craziness. This great gift from God is meant for everyone. All you have to do is to accept and open the gift.
If you would like to know more about putting Christ into your life, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a most joyous Christmas!
Dr. Richard Tompkins