Friday, December 22, 2006

What is the true Meaning of Christmas?

Christmas is a shortened term for “Christ’s Mass [1]”, a day which marks the remembering of the reason that Christ was born to this world. The Lord Jesus Christ came as God in the flesh to die on a cross for our sins. The purpose of “Christ’s mass” is to remember His death in the way He asked us to do it, by the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine. (1 Cor 11:23-26) The Bible calls it the ‘Lords Supper’.

The Lord’s Supper’ which celeb-rates Jesus birth began to be called Christmas in the mid 4th century. The more important event however is ‘the Lord’s Supper at the time of Passover (Easter). It was at the celebrating of the Jewish Passover Supper just prior to Jesus' crucifixion when Jesus asked us to remember His death in this way.

19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in rememb-rance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. - Luke 22:19-22

These two observances Christmas and Easter of the ‘Lords Supper’ however, are no more significant than any other observance of the Lord’s Supper. The ‘Lord’s supper’ has been observed every Lord’s day (Sunday) by many Christians since the time of Christ’s ascension into heaven.

Christians claimed the first day of the week as their Sabbath day to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection as it represents the day that Christ was raised from the dead. (Acts 20:7) The rest of the world had always observed its day of rest on the Saturday, which goes back all the way to Adam. It is also the 4th of the Ten Commandments.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work. - Exod 20:8-11

The Bread that is broken each Sunday represents Christ’s body which was broken for us. The wine represents Christ’s blood which was shed that we might be washed clean of our sins.
At Christmas we particularly reflect on the fact that God the son, the Lord Jesus Christ came to dwell among us. (John 1:1-4,14)

The scripture tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin. It tells us that He was begotten of God. (John 3:16) This makes Him equal with God, A claim that no one else could make.
The prophets said of Him that He would be called ‘Emmanuel’ meaning ‘God is with us’. (Isaiah 7:14) Jesus made His dwelling place among men. (John 1:14) Jesus said that He would prepare dwelling places in heaven (John 14:1-3) for His children who allow Him to have a dwelling place in their hearts.

12a But to as many as received Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) to them gave He the right to be called the children of God. - John 1:12a

16 …I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. … At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My command-ments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” - John 14:16-21

It is fitting that we celebrate Christ-mas in the winter time (although the best evidence is that Christ was actually born in the summer months perhaps as early as May) because the Bible says that God wants to make you white as snow.

18 “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. - Isaiah 1:18

Can you think of any greater Christ-mas present than this! When God lives in you, He will help you to keep your life clean.

11 …He [God] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” – Matt 3:11b-12

The Apostle Paul said;

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:8-9

Jesus says;

20 Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come and sup with him and he with me. - Rev 3:20 KJV

At Christmas time we give gifts to each other. God has given the gift of His son to us. God is asking you to give a gift to Him this Christmas. That gift is yourself, your will and your willingness to submit to His rule in your life. Paul called this a reasonable request when you consider what He has done for you. (Rom 12:1-2)

Will you submit to Him? Consider starting a dialogue with Him right now.
If you want to know the true meaning of Christmas then invite Jesus to come into your life to dwell with you. He will give you a brand new start. He will make you white as snow.
Let us know if we can assist you in any way. May God bless you this Christmas season. May you experience it as you never have before!

A Suggested Prayer:

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, …9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. - Psalm 57:7-10

Continue to pray and confess your sins to the Lord Jesus as He reveals them to you. Ask Him to transfer His righteousness to you and to take away your unrighteousness.

Then find a church where you can celebrate the Lords Supper together with other believers and where they can encourage you in your new walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Contact the person who handed you this tract or the author.

Bible Door Tracts
bibledoor@rogers.com,
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http://bibledoor.blogspot.com/ & http://bibledoor.no-ip.org/
Copyright 2006 © Bible Door Tracts.

This tracts author is Ray Luff of Bible Door Tracts. The opinions contained in this tract do not necessarily represent the opinions of Riverdrive Park Bible Chapel where Ray is in fellowship. All Bible references are from The New King James Version. 1996, c1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson unless otherwise noted
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[1] modif. of VL *messa, lit., dismissal at the end of a religious service. - MW Collegiate Dict. (11th Ed.) The word Mass doesn’t appear in the Bible. The Bible calls it “the Lords Supper”.The disciples met for the express purpose of breaking bread on Sunday in Acts 20:7, suggesting a weekly observance and suggesting that it is to be more than a dismissal tacked on at the end of a service.

2 comments:

FreeThinker said...

Winter Solstice Greetings from San Francisco!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you also! As you see the earth, sun, stars and planets in the heavens, all that randomness has an order to it, a Designer, a Creator, who's love for you goes beyond the beauty of this world. His desire is a relationship with you. It's that simple. Believe and receive the greatest gift of the season, Jesus.