Christmas is a holiday that can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. It is essential to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season and realize the true meaning of our celebration.
The holiday season can both be exhilarating and taxing at the same time. It’s either we belong to the group who’s all excited about putting up the Christmas tree, lights, and decorations and start on the holiday planning. Or we are among those who struggle with difficult emotions that we find difficult to celebrate this season.
Amidst all the clamor and the emotional stress we face, it might be a good idea to take a step back. And focus on Jesus by remembering why Jesus is the reason for the season.
Why is it that Jesus is the Reason for the Season?
Sometimes, it can be challenging for people to find a reason to celebrate Christmas. There is so much grief, strife, and hopelessness around us that it is hard to find joy. Here is why we must retrace our steps and go back to remembering why this tradition exists. We must go back and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season and why He is so.
The Birth of Jesus
The Christmas celebration began around 336 in Rome, but it only became a major Christian event in the 9th century. Different views connected December 25 to the birth of Christ. But there was no precise or specific origin of how the date was assigned. It also aroused arguments because Christians celebrate it on the same day that pagans observe holidays that honor the sun.
However, believers also consider the likelihood that this date was also chosen to thwart paganism’s influence. Instead of celebrating the sun, the day will be a celebration honoring and worshiping the holy Son.
The Scriptures did not mention anything about the date of the birth of Jesus. During Constantine’s reign in the 4th century, the Roman church started celebrating December 25 as Christmas. He was the first Christian emperor and is said to be the one to have possibly weakened the traditions of pagans. The Christian historian Sextus Julius Africanus first identified this date as Jesus’ birth in 221.
Eventually, it became the date that was accepted universally. The Christmas festivity has then evolved. And, people from different parts of the world have added their culture to the tradition.
There are a lot of discussions, reasons, and traditions that revolve around the celebration of Christmas. But as we usher into this season, we must remember that we are not commemorating the date or the holiday event. We are honoring the ultimate reason for our celebration, and that is Jesus.
Exceedingly greater than the material gifts that we receive from loved ones and friends, He gave us the greatest gift of all: salvation from our sins and the gift of eternal life. Matthew 1:21 tells us that Mary will give birth to a baby boy whom they should name Jesus. They are to provide Him with that name because He will be the Savior of His people from sin. His birth reminds us that in Him, there is hope no matter how bleak our situation and this season may seem.
What is the Meaning of “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”?
What does it mean when we say that Jesus is the reason for the season? It’s a phrase that people have used repeatedly, but what does this holiday have to do with Him? And how does Jesus being the reason for the season impact our lives?
Jesus Came for Us
Mary conceiving and giving birth to Jesus did not just happen by chance. It was not something that just suddenly happened. But rather, it was part of God’s grand plan that He has been communicating since the Old Testament days. The prophet Isaiah had written this in Isaiah 9, where he prophecies about a child being born to bring hope to God’s people. Jesus intentionally came for us to give us the gift of salvation. 1 John 3:5 tells us that He, who has no sin, appeared to remove our sins.
The Meaning of Life – He gave us a reason to live
Christ came not only to give us salvation but through His life, to demonstrate how we should be living our lives. The four canonical gospels in the Bible record His teachings about what we should value in our lives. In Luke 12:31, Jesus desires for us to discover life’s true meaning by pursuing His kingdom first before anything else. The previous verses (Luke 12:22-23) also mentioned that life is more than food to eat and clothes to wear.
Although these things are essential, the meaning of life is more than the pursuit of the things of this world. Going back to verse 31, He tells us that these things will follow if we just put His Kingdom first on top of our priority list. He also said in John 10:10 that He came so we could live our lives abundantly and to the full. That’s how much value God puts in us.
The Purpose of Life – He gave us the reason for living
Before Christ went back to heaven, Jesus left His disciples with a command to go and proclaim the gospel to every nation (Mark 16:15). He came for us to have hope and abundant life; furthermore, He wants us to pass this on to others. The hope that we have in Him is not only for us to consume. It also allows us to share with others so they, too, can experience it.
And to be effective in doing this, our lives must reflect Christ for others to recognize that we are His followers. 1 Corinthians 8:6 tells us everything came from the Father, and we live for Him. The verse also says that there is only one Lord who is Jesus Christ, and everything was made through Him, and we have life through Him as well. As Jesus exemplified in His life, our purpose is to love God and others as He does.
Why do We Have to Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season?
It’s easy to be consumed by the usual hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. From decorating our homes to picking gifts from our loved ones and friends to planning our holiday travels and holiday meals. All of these put together can be exhausting and frustrating.
And then some of us find it to be joyful during this season. It can be due to various reasons. Some of us may be grieving over a loss of a loved one, or we just lost our job, or we are going through some crisis.
That is why we must go back and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season, and He is the reason for this festivity.
To celebrate Christ is to celebrate His life and life with Him in it. We may not have a lofty Christmas tree, an exquisite meal, or dinner on Christmas Eve, but it doesn’t matter. Despite our sin and brokenness, someone sacrificed His life for us, a reason for us to celebrate.
We celebrate because we did not choose Him, but He chose us. Romans 5:8 tells us that while we were still living a life full of sin, Jesus had died for us. He shows us, unconditional love, even when we are unlovable. We celebrate not because it’s a holiday but because we remember how Jesus gave His life for us because He loves us so much.
Hope in Christ
Jesus Christ was born because He is the only way the price for our sins could be paid. Because of His life, death, and resurrection, God has allowed us to be called His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18) once we genuinely confess that Christ is our Lord and Savior. And again, this brings us back to John 10:10, where He mentions that He wants us to live an abundant life. That doesn’t mean that we can continue to keep habitually sinning or that we will live a problem-free life.
He wanted us to live the kind of life that no matter what storm and crisis we go through, we are confident that we will be okay because He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Romans 5:1-2 tells us about the peace of God that we can gain through Jesus. Here is the kind of peace that surpasses our limited understanding. Even amidst challenges and difficulties in life, we can find calm and even rejoice because we know Jesus will come through for us.
What Does the Bible Say About Jesus as the Reason for the Season?
Old Testament Verses and Prophecies about Jesus
Hundreds of years before Jesus was even born, God was already relaying His message of hope through the prophets, particularly Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14 is where the prophet wrote about the conception of a virgin woman (which was Mary). Isaiah 9:6 talks about the birth of a child who will be called many names such as “Prince of Peace,” “Mighty God,” etc.
And Micah 5:2 mentions a ruler being born in Bethlehem. God has already set His intention of sending His only Son to save humanity. God was intentional because He loves us. Jesus is truly the reason for this season because His life is a beautiful display of His love for us.
New Testament Verses about Jesus
In Matthew 1:20-21, the apostle Matthew narrates to us how the angel appeared to Joseph in his dream to tell him about the divine conception of Christ in Mary’s womb. God alone can create a baby in this way. That is another reason for us to celebrate and stay hopeful because we are serving a mighty God. John 1:14 says that the Word became man, and He had lived full of truth and grace among us.
In Luke 2:10-11, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David, there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. We can also learn from this verse that God would fulfill His long-awaited promise through His son, Jesus.
Jesus assures us that He understands whatever emotions we’re feeling, hardships we’re enduring, and pain we are healing from. He knows, and He understands because He lived as a man among us. Jesus is a God who can empathize and relate to us. And when we are tired of the things we have to deal with, He offers us His rest (Matthew 11:28).
How to View Christmas when Jesus is the Reason for the Season?
Christmas may be a season where families and friends come together to celebrate, have fun, exchange gifts, and all the traditions that go with it. But thinking about it, all the happiness that it brings is temporary. All that joy and excitement will pass, and then we are left again to face the realities of life after the festivities.
And again, as most people get busy preparing for vacation, dinner, and parties, some just want the holiday to be over. Some struggle with discouragement, depression, and darkness, and the excitement in the air magnifies these emotions, making it harder to bear.
Here is where Jesus offers His hope. Here is where we can change our perspective, take a step back and remember Jesus is the reason for the season. He encourages us to fix our eyes on Him so that whether we are in abundance or lack during the holidays, we know that we are celebrating something that holds a much deeper meaning.
More than the presents, the get-togethers, the Christmas trees, and the mistletoes, Christ’s gift of eternal life and salvation gives us hope that we will be okay. No matter what happens, we will be okay because Jesus has already won the most significant battle that we could ever face. And more than that, there is a life in eternity with Christ that awaits us.
Christ teaches us that Christmas is not really about elegant decorations, a house full of lights, a table full of food on Christmas Eve, or how many presents you’ll receive. It is the total opposite of how His birth transpired. His mother gave birth to Him in a humble manger, and all who were surrounding Him were only the three wise men, the animals, and the shepherds.
Even during His birth, Christ is already showing us that life is more than the things this world can offer. It doesn’t matter if we’re living a humble and simple life. As long as we are in Christ, we will be okay. Jesus is the reason for the season. He is the light of the world (John 8:12) and the hope of humanity. This season and even after, I hope you will find your light and hope in Him. As 1 Peter 5:7 says, give all your cares and worries to Him because Jesus cares for you.
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