By Nana Kofi Ababio
Despite the long standing debate on Christmas, without doubt it widely carries a significance to the birth of Jesus Christ in celebration. It is one of the greatest celebrations in the world, if not the greatest. The birth of Christ was first prophesied by Jacob in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 49:10 “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” The Hebrew Bible records as until Shiloh comes and Shiloh means to Him who it belongs come, this is a prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ. And Judah is a royal tribe, most of the kings came from that line. And the Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah.
Also in Ezekiel’s divine vision, he sees a divine creature representing God’s glory with four faces. A lion, an ox, a man and an eagle.
Ezekiel 1:10 “Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle.”
The four faces are representing the character of God which we can derive out of the four gospels in the Bible.
Let’s start with the lion face which means king and is associated to the gospel of Matthew. The gospel of Matthew is Jesus as the King. Then there is an ox which means servant and is also linked with the gospel of Mark. Jesus as the servant of God. Then there is a human face which is connected to the gospel of Luke. Jesus as the perfect man. Then finally there is an eagle which means heavenly Spirit (God) and is associated with the gospel of John. Jesus as God. This is fascinating yeah.
Also one amazing fact is the whole world marks time as before and after Christ was born making this year the 2019th year of our Lord. Isn’t that amazing. Okay so let’s get to it; Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem which means house of bread, Jesus is the bread of life. So Bethlehem is where the bread of life was born. Beth in the Bible means house so for example Bethsaida means house of fish.
In Matthew 2:1-12 When the Magi came to Judea, they asked where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? And they showed them the scriptures in which they read Micah 5:2 that says in Bethlehem is where the Ruler would come from.
Numbers 24:17. “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the people of Sheth.”
Some scholars associate Balaam to the establishment of the Magi. It is believed that the Magi set off in search of the Messiah in reference to Balaam’s prophecy. They were wise men and they were kings and also astrologers. Isaiah also in one way or the other prophesied about these kings;
Isaiah 60:3. “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
They came to the birth of Jesus Christ and worshiped Him and presented Him with gifts; gold which signifies the royalty of Christ, frankincense which signifies the divinity of Christ and myrrh which signifies the humanity of Christ.
Bethlehem is famous for the birthplace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God chose Bethlehem because it’s the least of all the cities in Judah. God chose a small and insignificant town for the birth of His Son. Just think about the number of times we’ve felt small and insignificant we think of ourselves and God still chose us and appointed us as heirs and heiress in His Kingdom. And any small and insignificant feeling that we have, we should just know that Jesus Christ can come from that place in our lives. Also Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth and they had to go to Bethlehem which was over 70 miles away to register there, they went to Bethlehem because it was the house and lineage of David.
And the scriptures record that Joseph was a carpenter, as a matter of fact Joseph and Mary were just ordinary people whom God used to raised up His Son. So here we have a small and insignificant ordinary place and an insignificant ordinary people God used for His glory, this gives me the understanding that we should not buy into the lies of the enemy saying God can’t use us, that we are not worthy to partake in God’s plan. God loves to use ordinary people.
The prophet Micah’s prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus and God’s promise to the world in the bible.
Micah 5:5. “And He will be our peace.”
Jesus came into the world to bring peace, peace is not the absence of problems but peace is the calmness and harmonious presence in us that we know God is with us and He is leading us even though we still face problems. No matter what we are going through, how bad it is, no matter how insignificant we feel sometimes and the problems we face in life Jesus Christ is our peace, He brings peace in the midst of our situation, He is the Prince of peace.
When Jesus Christ was born the Angels in Heaven praised God saying;
Luke 2:14. “Glory to God in the highest Heaven, And on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests.”
Peace on earth means in the midst of the problems we are going through we can have peace. Christmas also represents salvation. Christmas is God sending His Son to save us from our sins, that’s the main priority message of Christmas. Christmas also represents grace (favour). Through Jesus Christ we receive grace from the Father.
Matthew 1:18-23 “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).”
The prophet Isaiah gives a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ. The book of Isaiah has the most messianic scripts. Messianic scripts are writings that predicts the coming of Jesus Christ. Isaiah prophesied about the coming of Jesus Christ which was to happen and it eventually happened 740 years later, wow!
Isaiah 7:13-14. “Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
This prophecy God gave the prophet Isaiah is a sign to every generation of believers. It’s a sign because the Messiah is coming. The Messiah is coming through the tribe of Judah and through the house of David but the Messiah hasn’t come yet so the sign it has is there is no way that the devil can succeed against the children of God because God has a purpose for us and He is not done with us.
Firstly, God became human:
The focus here will be on God; This is why Christmas changes everything. This is why the whole counted down to Jesus Christ and now have counted on since Jesus Christ. We know Jesus was, is and will always be God because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, the immaculate conception. The egg was from a virgin called Mary but the seed was not from a man but from the Holy Spirit. It is said in the book of Exodus that the iniquities of the father’s go to the third and fourth generation, it never states the iniquities of the mother’s. Here is the point iniquity is passed through the seed, through the fathers so Jesus Christ was born of a virgin woman but not of a man so He could be fully human and fully God. The deity and the humanity of Christ Jesus. This is why God became human. This basically means God did not send a messenger to save the world but He brought the message Himself.
Secondly, God became human:
The focus here is human; God was born, His life literally depended on people taking care of Him. The creator became the creation. Jesus Christ grew up just as we grew up. God (Jesus Christ) became human.
John 1:1-3, &14. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The above explains God became human and the name Immanuel; God with us. We really and truly believe that God became a human because Jesus Christ actually died for our sins. God became human to redeem humanity.
Hebrews 2:14. “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
So we can say because of Christmas death has no power over the children of God.
Isaiah 9:6. “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given.” This scripture clearly speaks that Jesus Christ came as a man and also God.
Christmas: Is celebrated because God became a human and died for His creation.