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23 December, 2013 10:23

December 23, 2013


I love Christmas as much as anyone else. After all what’s not to like about it? A time when families gather to fellowship, exchange gifts and eat until their stomachs ache. Yes, Christmas is the season to be jolly!

But what would Jesus think if He were to visit the average church and find a nativity scene outside or inside for that matter? Christmas seems to be that time of the year when we reflect upon His coming and yet forget about His dying. In my reading of the Bible I don’t recall Jesus ever telling his disciples to ‘Do this in remembrance of Me’. This being a nativity scene with shepherds or wise men bowing in adoration before the infant Jesus.

Now I’m not trying to be the one to spoil Christmas, but what if we were to fill our churches with people celebrating not just His birth, but His ultimate triumph, the Cross. His birth was ultimately about His death and resurrection. When He gathered with His disciples prior to the Cross, He took the bread and the cup to remind them of His life which was to be poured out as the final sacrifice for sin. Do this in remembrance of Me was never about His infancy or nativity, but rather His supremacy over sin, Satan and the grave.

I don’t recall anywhere in the book of Revelation where the birth of Jesus is ever emphasized. Instead we are reminded again and again about the Lamb. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain… I saw in the midst of the throne a Lamb… They sang the song of Moses and the Lamb… the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb… These are they who follow the Lamb…The water of life…coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb…

I know for sure that if it was my birthday being celebrated, and all my friends were fixated on my baby album photos while I sat quietly watching them, that I would be deeply disappointed. Why, I would ask myself, were they so interested in my birth but not my life? Why my past and not the present? Why my weakness and not my strength? Why my infancy and not my majesty?

Perhaps it’s time for us to start rethinking Christmas, not as a time when we simply remember His birth but more importantly, why He came. Jesus Himself summed up the entire Old Testament this way, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Do this in remembrance of Me!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Watchman permalink
    December 23, 2013 3:07 pm

    Leonard Ravenhill in his sermon “Worship – Preoccupation With God” said that “it’s Jesus birthday, but no ever gives Jesus any gifts”. I’ve not been able to get this out of my mind for weeks and weeks. What kind of gift can I give Jesus? Praise, worship, my attention?

    My church is going through the Christmas story (over five sermons) with the addition of an evangelistic message. This is the time of year when we get most visitors to the church and so the idea is to reach out to them with the gospel message. This is ok, but I wonder if we are missing something? We talk about Jesus, but we never spend any time praising and worshipping Him.

    I’m still trying to workout how I can give Jesus a gift. If anyone has any insights, please share them.

  2. J. Matt Davis permalink
    December 23, 2013 6:28 pm

    I think if I see one more plastic baby Jesus with a dimly lit bulb and faded paint I will probably vomit. I don’t know, maybe folks mean well, but the Christmas holiday is SO saturated with “candy coated consumeristic christianity.” Hopefully that makes some sense. Mr. Ravenhill, I very much appreciate this brief message on the TRUE meaning of Christmas, The Cross. I know I need more of it wrought in me. So what do we give Jesus for Christmas? I have been reading John Bunyan’s “The Acceptable Sacrafice,” an exposition on Psalm 51:17. This has been a gut-wrenching book. You won’t find this one in your local christian store, I’m sure. Mr. Bunyan has been shredding my heart, courtesy of the Sweet and Piercing Word. More and more, I am realizing that Jesus doesn’t “need” me. Scripture says He is standing at the door, which, for me is very interesting. Perhaps He will continue to my neighbor’s house if I don’t answer the knock upon my heart. He is standing, not sitting. So He doesn’t need me, but He WANTS me!! I can barely get a grip on this sometimes. Jesus wants me…with all my filthiness, with all the heartache I bring, all the ugliness, pride, self-righteousness, perversion of heart!! And He desires my heart, broken and contrite, to fellowship with Him. I guess that is all I can give Him. I have nothing else to offer Him. The fellowship of The Cross!! Break this heart, Lord, and use it, I pray!! Merry Christmas!

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