Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Eve Message

Most people try to read the Bible in little chunks here and there. They read the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samson, David and Goliath and others, and try to glean from them some kind of moral truth or "God makes a hero" kind of thing.

Then they read troubling passages about places like Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel vanquishing some nation or other. Then they read about the Ten Commandments and think of them as rules to follow.

In reading the Bible like that, they come up with questions about particular events without understand their context or true meaning.

Here's the thing: The Bible is the story of God's greatest creation (mankind) which decided to do things their way instead of His. A pattern ensues whereby God's chosen people, Israel, enter into covenant with Him and break the covenant every time. Try as they might, they cannot follow God's way.

The Old Testament is about revealing the seriousness of sin. Sin has consequences. Men do good things and follow them up with bad things. Men obey God for a season and then turn to idol worship and other atrocities against God.

The Old Testament also reveals that God has a plan to remedy man's fallen condition. It shows word pictures of what that plan is and how it will come to fruition. It points relentlessly to a coming Messiah.

Messiah is presented in the Old Testament as a different kind of king, one who would be of the house and lineage of David, who would be born in a town called Bethlehem, of a virgin young lady, who would do miraculous things, who would be scorned, attacked by His own people, be put to death on a cross as the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God, die, rise from the dead, come again and reign over the earth in a time of total peace.

Take a look at this short video for an overview of the Bible's purpose.

The whole Old Testament leads us step-by-step to the event we celebrate tomorrow: Christmas.

"Christ" is the Anglicized version of the Greek word "Christos," which is the Greek word for "Messiah." So the "Christ" of "Christmas" is a reference to the Old Testament word for "Messiah."

The "mas" of Christmas comes from the old English "maesse," meaning celebration, most often of a birth.

So "Christmas" means "The celebration of the birth of Messiah.

From the gospel of John:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”

Have a very merry celebration of Messiah's birth!

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