Matthew 1: 18-25 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Today is Christmas Day! It is the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of us know the story quite well - An angel surprised a young girl named Mary one day when he came in unexpectedly and announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah. Many people have speculated that Mary would not have welcomed this news but personally I feel that she would have considered it quite an honor. All throughout the Old Testament God promises to send the Messiah, therefore most of the people were waiting for these prophecies to be fulfilled. It would not surprise me one bit if ordinary young girls would have in their everyday conversations, if they would have dreamed and imagined and hoped that they would be the one chosen by God to be the mother of His Son. So when this news was brought to the young girl Mary, she humbly accepted this great honor. Of course, having this happen to her also presented many challenges. She had to tell her fiance Joseph that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit and that the Child in her womb was the Son of God. Joseph was an honorable man and he did not quite believe her story. He knew the baby was not his so he planned to quietly divorce Mary in order to keep Mary from public disgrace. But the angel of the Lord also came to Joseph ( in a dream ) and explained the situation to him. He was instructed to take Mary as his wife. Joseph was chosen to be the earthly father of the Son of God. Joseph also humbly accepted the call placed on his life. He took Mary to be his wife, he refrained from sexual intimacy with her till after the baby Jesus was born and he cared for his precious bride Mary. He cared for and protected the baby Jesus just as any proud father would protect his own baby.
So at Christmas time we must remember why this all needed to happen. Why did Jesus have to leave the glory of heaven, come down to earth as a helpless baby, grow up and live here on our planet? It was for the salvation of our souls. Jesus came to die for our sin. Our sin separates us from God. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in his presence. We are all sinners in need of the Savior. We cannot save ourselves. None of us can pay for our own sin because we are all sinful people. We needed a sinless sacrifice to atone for our sin. Because of His great love for us, Jesus chose to be this sacrifice. That is why He came. He died on the cross in our place. He took my place on that cross, He took your place because of His great love for us all. The good news is that now through faith in Jesus, we can be reconciled back to God the Father. He who knew no sin became sin for us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Even if you or I had been the only person in the whole world that needed saving, Jesus still would have endured the cross and died there for you, for me. Isn't that amazing? The love He has for us is really amazing!! So this Christmas day, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, can I ask you to come to him today for the salvation of your soul? You may say, -"why now - I am still young and have many years ahead of me, I want to live it up a little first." My answer to you would be that none of us know what day or hour we will face death and be called out of here. If you remember the recent tragedy in Newtown, none of those teachers and staff had any time to repent of their sin, and invite Jesus into their hearts. They were gone in an instant and we trust that each of them will have made this important decision to receive Christ well before that awful Friday morning. Death could come for any of us at any time - through illness, or accident or tragedy. Prepare to meet God today!
One more reason to celebrate Christmas is the fact that we are looking forward to his return to this earth. One day the sky and clouds will break open and as we look up we will see Jesus coming in the clouds. Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Saviour will rise to meet Him in the air. Please make sure you will be ready to meet Jesus in the air!
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.