By Dr. Thamsing Lamkang
Sports Resource Center
‘Knowing Jesus was born, died and rose again is just like ‘knowing a history’, but ‘believing and accepting’ His birth, His death and His resurrection in Glory is Salvation’.
‘For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord’ Luke 2: 11. And the Messiah was born 2010 years ago in Bethlehem. His name is ‘Jesus Christ’ the ‘Son of God’. His ‘birthday’ is called ‘Christmas’. The word ‘Christmas’ comes from ‘Cristes Maesse’ early English phrase which means ‘Mass of Christ’ or ‘translated’ ‘Christ for the People’.
The name ‘Jesus’ means ‘The Lord Saves’, because He will save men from their sins. Christ came as Savior for the sinners.
In Matt. 1: 23 & Isaiah 7: 14 Behold, the virgin will be with a child and bear a Son, and they shall call His name ‘Immanuel’ which means ‘God with us’. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us John 1: 14. Everything that happened is the ‘fulfillment of God’s promises’!
CHRISTMAS LIGHT OF THE WORLD
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a Great Light” Isaiah 9: 2. Jesus is the One who brings you light. Without Jesus, there is only darkness, eternal death and no hope. But in Jesus, there is ‘Hope of Eternal Life’. As long as you follow Jesus there is light and life John 8: 12.
Jesus said, be the light because God came to light the dark world John 9: 5. Give light in darkness Luke 1: 79.
Most people may remember ‘David Livingstone’ for giving up his comfort life in England. His love for Jesus was so real and evident when he responded God’s called to take the gospel to Africa. He accepted the highest call from God. He went and died in Africa. But when his coffin (body) arrived in England, he was given the highest honored for his sacrificed. The lights he lighted in Africa are bright and brighter, because he went as the gospel light in the Dark Continent of Africa.
I remembered when I was a boy during Christmas my Pastor father Rev. Dilbung Wolthung led a “Candle-Light Midnight Service”. They put off all the lights inside the church. It was dark, silent and a bit scary. Then, my father lights a candle and said ‘light represent Jesus, He came to drive away darkness’.
Everyone came one after the other and lights their candle. And the church building was slowly brighter and brighter with so many candle lights. Pronouncing, Jesus came as the light; he wants you to be the light today. Let us shine forth for Jesus as Christmas is celebrated.
‘What Jesus was to the world of His time, He wants us to be in the world of our time’! ‘Christians should be the beam of light in the midst of ‘darkness’ and the ‘ray of hope’ in the midst of ‘despair’.
THE WISEMEN ARE WISE
The wise men are wise because they came for the right reason; they study the scriptures and seekers of the truth. They came to worship Jesus along with their gifts, the most significant gifts for Jesus.
They didn’t forget to take their treasures ‘gold, frankincense and myrrh’;
Gold: It is the gift you give to Kings. In days of old, tribute was paid by bringing gold to the king. It was the most precious metal of those times and so the wise men are presenting it as a gift to the king.
Frankincense: It was a kind of incense used to worship God in the temple. So the wise men are saying this baby, Jesus, is not only king, he is also God. He is worthy of being worshipped.
Myrrh: It was a spice used to embalm the dead: Now that`s an unusual gift for a baby: the spice put on a dead body before wrapping it in linens. So the wise men, by their gifts, acknowledged that Jesus is God Incarnate, He is king, and He is going to die. Jesus is the Savior of the world and He has come to die for our sins.
So, it is very important to know that you can’t worship without giving, because giving is part of worship. They rejoiced with ‘Great Joy’ after finding Jesus and presented their gifts. ‘The joy of Christmas should always continue in our life not just during the Christmas season’.
THE PROPHET ISAIAH 9: 6
The prophets have portrayed a magnificent picture of the prophet Messiah, but the book Isaiah is more complete, giving details from His birth to the resurrection with Glory. ‘Isaiah’ means ‘The Lord Saves’. Because the prophet Isaiah was specially ‘commission’ to proclaim about the coming Messiah for His people. ‘God desires salvation, instead of condemnation’ for the world. As a matter of fact, the entire book of Isaiah is a testament to God’s salvation. In Isaiah there is no better news than the prophet’s prediction of the future birth of Immanuel, which means God with us Isaiah 7:14.
The Good News of Isaiah is that God will be sending a Messiah to establish His Kingdom on earth. Messiah means ‘God’s Anointed One, to come as King’. He will bring with Him three things every person needs: ‘Peace, Good Tidings and Salvation’ Isaiah 52: 7. It was not just the prophet Isaiah but most of the prophetic books in the Old Testament were some-what connected to tell about the coming Kingdom (Jesus) the future glory of Israel. Jesus is somewhere on every page of the entire Bible.
Isaiah 9: 6 “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulder; and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father; the Prince of Peace.”
WONDERFUL COUNSELOR- His virgin birth itself, His incarnation as a person (man) and all His magnificent works are such great wonders. His divine supernatural miracles to heal and save life brought a very special attention. He is a Wonderful Counselor because He has an answer for everything. Whatever He do and say will wonder the world. “He is ‘Wisdom’ sent from God” 1 Cor. 1: 30. “In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Col. 2: 3. All means everything, and nothing left. In one word HE is WOW…!
THE MIGHTY GOD- He is the most powerful and Almighty. This child is ‘ALL mighty God’ in every battle. Nothing is too difficult for Him, because He is the mightiest, greatest, and the strongest. “Looking for the blessed hope to appear in most glorious way” Titus 2: 13. His Mighty presence will help us to fight every battle, for which the Almighty God will be on our side (King of kings and Lord of lords).
THE EVERLASTING FATHER-He will be our Everlasting Father; none can separate us from Him. Father is head of the family and so he rules; so is Jesus who will become the head of His people (church) and so He will rule forever.
In Israel, those who are the rulers such as the kings and the princes, those of magistrates or anything that rule were referred as ‘fathers’. It was a reverential title for those who had been given the responsibility to rule. So Messiah will be known as ‘Everlasting Father’ who will rule without ends. We are waiting for that ruler who also to restore back the broken relationship between men and God; establish His Kingdom on earth and rule forever, and nothing can separate us from Him.
THE PRINCE OF PEACE-The prophet Isaiah called the expected Messiah as the ‘Prince of Peace’. He Himself is the peace, who brought peace for men to reconcile with God; and He accomplishes it and that peace will reign forever.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors” Luke 2: 14.
Rom. 5: 1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Heb. 13:20, 2 Cor. 5: 19, Ephe. 2:14.
God had forgiven our sins through His Son Jesus Christ. We ‘must’ also forgive one-another so that, Peace will prevail on earth. Forgiveness is the first step to follow Christ and first step to bring peace among men. No-forgiveness, no peace!
Nothing happened just like that but the fulfillments of past promises for hundreds of years. One such example; Matt. 1: 23 record the fulfillment of Isaiah 7: 14. All this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through His prophets.
Will you come home this Christmas? Do you know that your heavenly Father wants you to come home this Christmas? It doesn`t matter who you are or what you`ve done. God says “I want you to come home and receive my love and my forgiveness.” That’s what Christmas is all about! In our own context Christmas is the time for families to unite together. The children come home for Christmas once every year. Why not, make use of Christmas as a time to reach their heart for Jesus before they go back for another year.
Lastly, Christmas maybe summarize into five words, LOVE, GIVE, JOY, PEACE and HOPE!
For God so ‘LOVED’ the world that He ‘GAVE’ us His only begotten Son… he who believes in Him will see and experience the great ‘JOY’ of salvation. As the world received Him, let the ‘PEACE’ of God prevails forever, and allowed the ‘Prince of Peace’ to rule the world. And never to lose ‘HOPE’ that, God’s Son Jesus will surely come back to take us to His Everlasting Father in new heaven and new earth!
With my wife Ring, we wish all readers a very Happy & Blessed Merry Christmas! May your heart & life be filled with ‘Great Joy of Christmas’ forever & ever Amen.
God bless your spiritual celebration for Jesus!