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The Meaning of Christmas

If you have never thought much about Jesus Christ or Christmas, this page is to help you understand the true meaning of Christmas that the birth of Jesus was such a great gift that we still celebrate it 2000 years later. We have taken some key ideas from the world's most widely-read book, the Bible, and arranged them concisely for you to give you a good understanding of the meaning of Christmas. We must first begin by thinking about God for a moment.

God decided the Meaning of Christmas

God created everything in the universe, both seen and unseen, from nothing. He is the first cause of everything. God is not Nature, nor a part of nature. Nature is only God's creation. God's incredible creations testify to His existence and His limitless power. Even now, everything which exists is existing by His power.

The dimensions of time and space are irrelevant to God. He never changes. There is only one eternally existent God with limitless supernatural power and knowledge. Though God is an eternal Spirit, He also has some characteristics of a person. For example, He can interact with people and understand our emotions.

God is completely holy. He hates sin. But how do we know what is holy and what is sin? Since God created everything, He had the authority to decide what is holy and what is sin.

God laid down two types of laws for man to follow: laws concerning the relationship between God and man, and between man and man. For example, do not worship any god other than the Creator God, honor your father and mother, do not murder, do not steal, do not lie, do not have an evil envy of others and the things that they have, don't get drunk, etc. So if you violate one of these laws, God says it is sin. God does not judge by actions only, but also by the attitudes of the heart. God loves each person very much, including you. One way that He shows His love and care to us is by giving us things. He sends rain, causes a harvest to come forth in season, and provides food and drink.

You may be wondering how these thoughts about God relate to the meaning of Christmas. The answer will become clear as you keep reading.

The Meaning of Christmas is for all

In the beginning God created two people, a man and a woman. All nationalities and ethnic groups came from these two people. God gave man an innate ability to know Him. He gave you the ability to understand the difference between good and evil, and lets you choose either. Through understanding the nature of good and evil, every man has an opportunity to know that a holy God exists.

Man knows that he should worship God, but often chooses not to do so. Creating all sorts of religions, philosophies, ideologies and psychological theories, man began to believe in himself rather than in God. Some even began to proclaim that the Creator of the universe does not exist! When the people of any society follow God's laws it is good for everyone. But people don't love and respect each other. They just keep on deceiving each other, and doing all the sins which destroy societies. Distorting God's true moral law, man made up his own morals, but doesn't even carry those out.

In spite of all this, God loves and wants to have a close relationship with each person. God loves people but can never be pleased with a man's sins. All men sin. Therefore man's sin separates him from God. And so it seems to some that God either doesn't exist or is irrelevant. Some people, however, feel that God is somewhere around, and fear Him, but don't relate to him properly. Yet everyone should want to have a right relationship with God, because without God you will always feel a void in your heart.

Occasionally someone understands "the sin I committed displeases God", and in order to appease his conscience, may do some sort of religious ritual or "good deed" to try to make amends for his wrong-doings. But unfortunately those things do not please God. In other words, they have no power to make amends for sins before the completely holy Creator God. We can't relate to God in just any way that we decide to. We must relate to God in ways that are acceptable to Him.

After a person's physical body dies his spirit goes to stand before God to be judged. Man's spirit is never reincarnated in another animal or man. God knows the thoughts and actions of every person's life and will judge them in truth according to His established laws. After God judges a man, the spirit of that man must go to either heaven or hell and be there for eternity.

In heaven there is no evil. Everything is completely holy and perfect there. If you go to heaven, you will experience happiness forever. Some people think that they can get to heaven in some way other than that which God has established. For example, many people mistakenly think that if their good outweighs their bad, then they will go to heaven. But if a person who committed only one sin were to enter heaven, then heaven would no longer be a holy and perfect place. Even before the creation of the world God had this plan for a perfect place for man. So, no sin is allowed into heaven. The most morally good person in the world sins sometimes, and cannot cleanse away that sin through good deeds and effort. So no one has the ability in himself to go to heaven. But through God's salvation there is a way to go there.

What about hell? God punishes all sin. The punishment for any sin is to live your life without a relationship with God, and then after you die, to go to hell and be there forever. There is only suffering in hell. If any man receives the punishment for his sin, he receives what he deserves. So we need a Savior to save us from this fate. We have good news for you! Saving you is the meaning of Christmas.

The Meaning of Christmas Our Savior came!

God loves us very much and wants to bless us. He does not want to send us to hell. Before the birth of Jesus, for hundreds of years through his prophets God had promised a Savior to save us from our sins. To fulfill His promise, God Himself took on human flesh and became a man, Jesus Christ. God kept His godly supernatural nature and combined it in perfect union with human nature. By the supernatural power of God, Jesus was born of a virgin Jewish woman about 2000 years ago in the land of Israel. Jesus is called the Son of God.

Jesus' showed that He is God through His many miracles, demonstrating power over all the laws of nature and the unseen world. Jesus never sinned.
While He was on Earth Jesus gave us new and clearer understandings of God. But Jesus came to Earth for a reason more wonderful than being a great teacher. He came to suffer and die in order to free us from the penalty of our sins. That's right! The meaning of Christmas is that Jesus was born in order to die for your sins and mine.

When Jesus was 33 years old some religious leaders conspired against Him and had Him killed by hanging Him on a wooden cross. But God had always planned for Jesus to suffer and die as the punishment for the sins of mankind. In that way He gave every person the opportunity to be saved.

Three days later Jesus lived again. During the 40 days after his resurrection He was seen by more than 500 people and conversed with His followers. After that Jesus went to heaven in His resurrected body and is living there even now. Jesus showed that He has authority over life and death. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are probably the most well-documented facts in ancient history.

This story may help you understand what Jesus did for you. Long ago there lived the strongest, wisest, most honest, most perfect king who ever lived. He loved his people very much and wanted the best for them. He knew if he just let people do whatever they pleased, there would be all sorts of problems in the society. So he came up with a very good law: honor the king above all, honor your parents, don't murder, don't steal, don't lie, don't get drunk, etc. When all the people heard the law they said, "That's a perfect law. If people follow that, we can have wonderful lives. We agree to follow it." So the king said, "If anyone breaks that law, he will be counted as my enemy and punished. The punishment is to be struck with wooden rods 1000 times." Everyone understood that no one could receive such a punishment and live. So they said, "We will obey the law." But just 2-3 days later the king's military leaders came in and said "Someone has committed thievery right here in the palace and was caught in the act. What should we do?" "Punish him," said the king, and then asked, "Who committed this crime?" With much fear the men answered, "Your mother." The king's heart ached for his mother, but he always fulfilled his word. So he said, "She will be punished." At the appointed time people came from all around to see the punishment. The king's mother realized she had done wrong, confessed her crime and asked the king for forgiveness.
The king though, with tears said, "This crime must be punished." But when they began to carry out the punishment, the king spread his huge powerful body out over his mother and covered her. The king, understanding that only he could receive the punishment for the crime and live, took the blows that his mother should have taken. And after everything he remained alive. In the same way Jesus took upon himself the punishment that should have been given to us.

Jesus' suffering and death were enough punishment to pay for the sins of all mankind. This way of salvation is available to every man. But Jesus does not pay for the sins of people who don't believe in Him, think they don't need His help in their lives and who believe they are good enough to go into heaven on their own merit. His suffering and death only paid for the sins of people who do believe in Him. Even before the creation of the world God decided that this would be the only way for man to be saved from his sins. The meaning of Christmas is that Jesus came to save you.

So you can have all your sins paid for and be saved. If you believe in Jesus, God will count you as being completely sinless, because Jesus acted as your substitute and fulfilled everything which God required as punishment for your sins. In other words, Jesus paid the debt that you should have paid. Through Jesus, God is providing you with a way to have a right relationship with Him.

Only Jesus lived a completely sinless life and died to take the punishment for your sins. So, every man must choose between one of two ways. Either (a) you yourself accept the punishment for your sins, or (b) you believe in Jesus Christ. If you do believe in Him, because of the fact that Jesus, as your substitute, took the punishment for all your sins, you will not be required to suffer the punishment of your sins. You will be counted as sinless.

The Meaning of Christmas It is for you!

Let's look again at what the Bible says. Every person's sin separates him from the completely holy God. A man lives only one life on Earth and then stands before God for judgment. Then the man's spirit must go either to heaven or hell. Because man is not completely holy, he can never go to heaven through his own ability.

To solve this problem, God Himself came to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus Christ. Demonstrating God's love, Jesus suffered and died as punishment to pay for your sins. Then He rose from the dead and never died again. He gave you the opportunity to have your sins forgiven, have a relationship with God and go to heaven after your life on Earth. If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved. In your place Jesus became like a sinful man, suffered and died. But you, like the resurrected Jesus Christ, will be counted as sinless, thereby making peace with God. This is the reason for the birth of Jesus, and the meaning of Christmas.

How to believe in Jesus: Understand that you cannot make peace with God by doing good things to make up for any bad things that you might have done. Realize you have sinned, truly feel sorry about that, ask God for forgiveness, and really want to stop sinning. Earnestly desire to love God and love man. Believe that Jesus paid for all your sins through his suffering and death 2000 years ago. This decision is not something you do today, then forget about, with no effect on your heart. This means that you make a decision that you believe the above things and want to try to live by them for your whole life. (God will help you to do this. He won't leave you to try to achieve this on your own.) You yourself have the privilege of deciding whether or not to believe in Jesus. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

You can put your faith in Jesus Christ right now! To do that you need to pray to God and express this desire to Him. God is near any man who wants to believe in Jesus. So you can relate to God directly without the help of a priest or any other person. It does not matter where you are, nor whether you are with someone or alone. Remember that God does not judge by the exact words that you say, but rather by the real attitude of your heart. He knows your every thought.

Jesus said, "All who are weak and heavy laden, come to me and I'll give you rest." "Whoever believes in me shall have eternal life." "Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

If you believe in Jesus, God will do many things for you. For example, He will forgive all your sins, hear your prayers and answer them according to His perfect wisdom. He can give you faith, hope, joy, peace in your heart, a real purpose for living, and protect you from spiritual forces in the unseen world. And after your life on Earth you will go to heaven and have a completely perfect, happy existence there eternally.

A decision to follow Christ is the most important, most wonderful thing that will happen in your life. If you want to put your faith in Jesus Christ, you can do it now. To do that, using your own words, confess your sins to God, ask for forgiveness, and tell Him that you are putting all your faith in Jesus to pay the penalty for your sins.

You have found the true meaning of Christmas. If you have not put your trust in Jesus before today, will you stop and do it right now. Today is a perfect day to accept Jesus as your Savior. Please do it now before reading any further.

If you are wanting to accept Jesus as your Savior, please first pray to Him as described above. After that, click the following link to the New Believers page.

If you are interested in the things above, but still have some doubts and are not quite ready to take the plunge into a life of believing in Jesus, please visit our Seekers page.

If you already believed in Jesus before reading this document, please visit our Focus on Christ page to find out more about the meaning of Christmas for believers.