Christmas is such a fun time of year! There are presents to buy and wrap, beautiful decorations, Christmas lights, Christmas movies… and the list could go on! All of these things are so fun, but ultimately, the reason why we celebrate Christmas is the birth of Jesus. If Jesus had not have been born, then none of the rest of things that we do at Christmas would matter.
I’ve been reading through Matthew, and I came to the passage about Peter’s confession of Christ in Matthew 16. Jesus and Peter are in conversation, and in Matthew 16:15b Jesus asks Peter, “Who do you say I am?” (NIV). I have read this passage multiple times, but in light of Christmas, this question jumped off of the page, because really, our answer to this question will determine why we truly celebrate Christmas.
So, who do you say Jesus is? This is the greatest question of all time. It is a question that all people will have to answer at some point, and their response will determine the rest of their eternity. Is Jesus’ birth just an excuse for a fun holiday? Or is Jesus’ birth the birth of the Christ, the long awaited Messiah, your Savior, and in light of the birth of the King of kings, you gather with your family and friends and you celebrate the birth of Jesus with decorations, Christmas cookies, Christmas carols, etc.?
Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question was the answer that I pray you all have. “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.'” Matthew 16:16 (NIV). Jesus’ birth was way more than just the birth of another sweet baby. Jesus’ birth was the birth of the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It was the day that the Light of the World was born and hope entered the world.
I pray that when you celebrate Christmas, that you are truly celebrating the birth of Jesus and why Jesus came to this world. I pray that you’re celebrating more than just the birth of a baby, but that you’re celebrating the birth of the One who came to save us from our sins. Jesus is the only way to salvation. He is the only true hope, the only giver of true life. He is the only one who can make Christmas truly meaningful.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.'”
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)