The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas! There is a lot of talk about what it means, or at least what it should mean. Various cultures have developed different traditions surrounding this momentous event. It has certainly become significant to the retailers, since as much as 75% of their annual sales occur at this time. No problem there, as even our Lord Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” However if we were to examine the motive for giving and/or the amount given, then that might be another story. The real story we must not lose site of pertains to the true meaning of Christmas.

Scripture indicates that in the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son into the world to be born of a woman [Gal. 4:4]. When God elected to send man the perfect gift, He did so in the person of His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Herschel Hobbs had this to say about Jesus Christ. “He became man in every sense of the word, apart from sin, that He might both identify Himself with man and fully reveal the Father to men.”

Jesus Christ came to earth as divinity wrapped in humanity. The coming of Jesus Christ into the world was the major turning point in the history of the world. Even the most current calendar dating–in the western world at least–has its date of origin at the birth of Jesus Christ. This type of calendar is known as the Gregorian calendar. According to World Book Encyclopedia, “Our calendar is supposed to be based on the year Jesus Christ was born. Dates before this year are listed as B.C., or before Christ. Dates after that year are listed as A.D., or anno Domini (in the year of our Lord).” Furthermore, one of the most prominent holidays in many parts of the world is Christmas. Although the history of some of its customs, and the accuracy of the date of December 25 are questionable, the original intent is clear. It is a commemorative celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, two major events, the year of the Lord’s birth and the date of His birth (although both are approximate) are incorporated into the calendar. More important than the date of Jesus Christ’s birth is the way He was born. “The birth of Jesus was on this wise: when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18). Dr. Donald Guthrie asserts that God performed the miracle of the incarnation with the same supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that He used in creation.

Jesus Christ was born of the Spirit, by a godly young virgin named Mary. Being a virgin, Mary had never experienced sexual intercourse with any man prior to our Lord’s birth. This means that our Savior did not have an earthly father. God is His Father. “Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived. This makes Him the only begotten Son of God.

Notice that the root word for Christmas is Christ. Without Christ, there is no Christmas! The world may try to take Christ out of Christmas, but they will never be able to take Christmas out of Christ. Jesus Christ is and forever shall be, the reason for the season! And that my dear friends, is the true meaning of Christmas!

Excerpt from Introducing the New You. This helpful volume of Christ-centered discipleship is available from Source Ministries (at a special Christmas discount):

Posted in