By Pastor Alex Ruelo
Everybody knows that Jesus was not really born on December 25. Many people say that He was probably born sometime in the springtime, because if it was in December, the shepherds would not be out in the cold. It would also be difficult to give birth in a manger taking into consideration the weather conditions. Possible but very difficult.
So why was the birth of Jesus set on December 25? Because of Emperor Constantine. The history of Christianity was changed because of him. Some people even call him the 13th apostle. He was converted into Christianity during the time he was in office. He was able to defeat his enemy who had four times more soldiers than his army. On the way to war, he saw a vision of the cross in the sky saying, “by this sign conquer.” One story said that they put crosses on their shields. You have to remember that during this time, Christians were persecuted. By doing this and wining the war, he made Christianity the official religion of Rome. That is why Rome is the center of Christianity.
During those times, many pagan celebrations took place on December 25. Thus, Emperor Constantine declared it to be Jesus’ birthday, to coincide with the many celebrations taking place on that same day. He is also the one who declared Sunday to be the Lord’s day. Bottomline is, even if December 25 is not the real birth date of Jesus, He was born to be the Savior of the world.
What is Christmas all about? We know that Jesus was born into the world. But more important than that, Christmas is God’s promise being fulfilled. God promised that there will be a payment for man’s sins. In the Garden of Eden, in Genesis 3:15, God said, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Before man even thought of committing sin, God already knew that man will disobey Him. 1 Peter 1:19-20 says, “but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” Before the world was even created, God already planned to save you from your sin. That is how much God loves His people. Revelation 13:8 says, “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.” Jesus was born to die for mankind. Man has a timeline. But God is eternal. Christmas is the fulfillment of God’s promise to mankind.
Christmas is also for the new testament. The New Testament is a contract between man and God. In the Bible, there are several covenants, all of which are in the Old Testament. But the New Covenant in the `new Testament, the Messianic Covenant, is what is most important. It says that there is a Messiah that will save all mankind. In the Old Testament are all the laws needed so that man can obey God. He did not make a mistake. Man did. If you disobey one law, you disobey all of it. But man cannot pay for His sins. Luke 22:20 says, “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” That is the reason why Jesus died on the cross. If you believe, you are healed and saved and are sure of a place in heaven. Hebrews 13:20 says, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.’’ The Old Covenant is finished. Jesus Christ came, the Savior of the world, and there is a New eternal Covenant. Paul said that under the New Covenant, the worst can be saved. In the Old Covenant, they would be dead. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 says, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” Jesus is the only reason for your salvation. Many religions own the grace that God gave to mankind. They say that you will be saved if you become a part of their religion. God alone made everything and is worthy of all the praise.
There is Christmas to show God’s love. Some love only in the good times. But God loves you even if you keep on repeating the same sin over and over again. You know what John 3:16 says. That is how much God loves you. He gave His only Son to save you. Nobody else would sacrifice their children for other people’s sins. Nobody would do that, especially when you know how bad people can be.
It does not matter when Jesus was born. The exact date does not matter. Because the truth is, Jesus Christ came to save all of mankind. One time, one day, more than 2,000 years ago, the Savior was born. The messiah was born. And you should always and forever be grateful for that; that even at your worst, you are loved by God.
Enjoy Christmas with the rest of the world. Use it to spread God word with the world. Celebrate it everyday if you can. Because God's love is not only shown on Christmas day.