His birth not the real celebration
An oft-heard comment during this season of celebration is, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
What does that assertion really mean? For most Christians, Christmas is a celebration to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Thus, Jesus’ birth is the reason for the season.
Accounts in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell of the circumstances surrounding the birth of Christ, and these accounts combined are generally referred to as The Christmas Story. With the emphasis Christians place on the birth of Christ, many assume or believe that celebration of His birth is a biblical command or directive.
However, there is no command or directive in the Scriptures encouraging or admonishing Christians to remember or to celebrate Christ’s birth. Scripture emphasizes his birth and the reason for his coming to Earth—to be the Redeemer and Savior for sinful man—but it does not specifically call for Christians to celebrate the occasion of his birth.
Instead, the biblical mandate is to remember the death of Christ.
Of course, the two are related. He could not suffer an atoning death without first being born. So, for Christians, the real cause for the season is to celebrate not just his birth but the reason for His being born as a man. Birth was the first step in fulfilling his mission of being the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all men. That was accomplished in his death, followed by his burial and resurrection.
The true essence of the season is remembering Christ’s birth not just for the birth’s sake, but for why he was born and what that birth signified was coming.
Celebrate his birth, enjoy the season, rejoice with your family and friends, but keep in mind that the real celebration is the purpose for His birth, without which we would have no cause for celebrating His birth.