R.C. Chiten Jamir
Down through the corridors of human history, from the beginning of time, the Christians are the great reminder of the lost humanity; God’s search for it: “Adam, where art thou?” (Gen. 3:9)
God created man in His image, after His likeness (Gen. 1: 26) for Him, for His glory and praise (Isa. 43: 7, 21). Satan cheated man to sin against God. Man was condemned to death. The sweet relationship between the Holy God and man, the sinner broke down.
There was a very deep longing in God for man; therefore, he instituted the Christians in Eden to bring back man to Him (Gen. 3:15). After nearly four thousand years, this promise was about to be fulfilled and at that right time, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, “She (Mary) shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). This is the promise of Christmas made by God.
As and when the great star touch down to the earth at Bethlehem exactly as prophesized by Micah (Micah 5:2) - the promised Messiah was born in Bethlehem. This is God reaching down to man. In spite of all the prophecies regarding the promise of the Messiah, redeemer and saviour, like in Isa. 7:14, 9:6, Micah 5:2, etc. the world did not know the coming of the Messiah. Infact, it rejected Christ. John 1: 11 says “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not”. When the promised family, which is Joseph, Mary arrived at Bethlehem with the Promised Messiah in the womb, “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). There is no greater event in the history of the world then the birth of Jesus Christ because only at His birth the Bethlehem star arose and the Angelic hosts announced His birth- The Angel of the Lord said, “I bring you good tidings of great joys, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day- a saviour, which is Christ, the Lord”. (Luke 2:10, 11)
The Government of that time was not aware of the great event of the birth of Christ. When the wise men came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?” Herod, the king and all Jerusalem were troubled”. Matthew 2:2-3.Herod asked all the chief Priests, scribes and asked them where Christ should be born. It shows that the government of the day did not know Christ coming and was not prepared to accept Him. The religious communities, specially the church leaders were dumb, deaf and blind to the promise of God and the prophecies concerning the Messiah. The High Priests, the Scribes and elders of the Jews asked Christ, “….Whether thou be the Christ, the son of God”. They rejected Him and crucified Him on the cross. This picture presents Christ coming with infinite grace to His own people, only to be rejected and turned Him away from their doors. This rejection was the saddest thing about Christ’s mission to the world. Christ came into the world to give life, joy, peace and salvation- eternal life to the last world. We generally accuse the Jews for being ungrateful and treat their Messiah in the way they did to Him. They did a very terrible thing unto themselves for they thrust away in Christ the most glorious things of heaven and eternity. How is it with us? Christ comes to us to give us eternal life and to make us children of God; do we receive Him? He comes unto us, but we receive Him not. How many times have we grieved Him by robbing ourselves of the richest and the most precious blessings He brings for us.
In her magnificence, Mary sang, “My soul doth magnify the Lord”. (Luke 1:46). At the shut gate of Eden, God promised a Saviour to be the seed of women. Even after that, down through the generations, the women of the Jews, each one of them hoped that she might be the mother of this promised Saviour. All their hopes faded into oblivion. At length one day a heavenly messenger appeared to this lovely Nazarite maiden, Mary to be the mother of the Messiah. Christ gave this magnificat to Mary. Do you have a magnification of the Christmas? Another strain of Mary’s song is “My spirit hath rejoiced in God” Luke 1:47. It represents the secret of all deep Christian joy. The Summum Bunam of Mary’s magnificat is, “My Saviour” Luke 1:47 i.e. Christ is mine. It is a wonderful and great thing indeed, when anyone can say, “My Saviour”. You may eloquently and beautifully talk about Christ but if you cannot say that –“He is my Saviour”, it is only a vain glory.
The gospel is “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten, that whosoever beliveth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. John 3:16. This verse shows us the source of man’s redemption- the love of God. It shows the measure of this Divine love- He gave His son. It shows how the redemption was done by the death of Christ. It shows us how to be saved-whosoever believes in Christ. It shows us the salvation- deliverance from being perished. It gives us definite assurance of eternal life in Christ. The unutterable joy of being forgiven of sins, eternal life being given to all who believe in Christ and accepts Him as the Lord and Saviour, can be experienced right here and now. May God have mercy on us to have a meaningful and a real Christmas now and forever.