As we approach the day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we often hear many questions and challenges of His birth. The commercialization of Christmas has caused many to forget the original reason behind Christmas.
It may come as a surprise to many, but based on historical, astronomical, and Scriptural evidence, it is very likely Jesus was actually born sometime between March-May in 5 BC. The early church and the gospel writers were not concerned with a specific date. Therefore, none has been given to us.
To be honest with you, I find no reason we need a specific date. It is good that we remember His birth. Yet, we should remember His birth, life, death, and resurrection every day of the year. However, as westerners, concerned with preciseness at times to a fault, we schedule a remembrance and a celebration.
In some ways, it is unfortunate. We set a date to remember and forget for much of the rest of the year. Oh, it is wonderful most of the world will hear more about Jesus during this time of year. It certainly cannot hurt to tell the story of His birth many times over for a handful of weeks. Who knows? It just may be the only time some will hear the good news.
Jesus’ birth was foretold more than seven hundred years in advance by Isaiah. But Isaiah didn’t dwell much on His birth either. His prophecy was more about the good news of what Jesus would accomplish and the purpose of His life, than His birth.
Make no mistake, we should not minimize Jesus’ birth. It was a miraculous birth, a gift from God, and needed. After all, we wouldn’t be nearly as accepting if God simply stepped into our world for a couple of years to teach then step back out. There would be too many similarities to the myths of the Greek gods or the gods of other cultures.
Yes, Jesus’ birth is extremely important. God becoming a newborn babe, growing through childhood into an adult, and ultimately dying for each one of us is something to be celebrated. Knowing God planned it hundreds of years earlier simply makes it more amazing.
I pray we all spend some quiet time contemplating Jesus’ birth. I pray we come to a better understanding of the miracle of it all. I pray each one of us recognize the awesomeness of God this Christmas season. Spend quiet time with God. Contemplate His mighty works. Celebrate Jesus’ birth. Praise God. Be in awe of God.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.