We are at a crisis inflection point in our present and future. And while evil encircles us on every side and at every level, the Christmas story has the power and truth to deliver peace while also providing the shield and sword to defeat those who would destroy our families, our freedom, our nation, and all that is good.
From the beginning of recorded history—across cultures—people have sought to flee oppression and escape persecution. A recurring theme in Western classical literature and in modern classics like Superman and Disney originals, which revolve around the struggle between good and evil, is the need and critical role for a rescuer or savior.
The ultimate rescuer and savior for mankind would be a “messiah,” who would vanquish evil, oppression, and falsehood once and for all. It is no accident that only Christianity has its roots and its entire reason for being in the messiah Jesus Christ. No other religion makes the claim that it was founded by a messiah.
Meaning of Christmas
Without a doubt, Christmas is a special time of year with decorations, light displays, scents, and volumes of wonderful music. But the real magic of Christmas is that it marks the birth of Jesus Christ who came into this world as the son of God—the Messiah and savior for all who accept him. In reality, Christmas is about the internal and eternal rather than the external and temporal.
Many people think approaching God is an impossibility. They assume Christianity is like all the other religions that require giving up bad habits and behaviors and performing certain works in order to approach God. In Matthew 11:30, however, Christ reminds us: “My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
A learned Jewish Pharisee whose life revolved around living up to stressful demands of the Mosaic law once asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the law. Jesus answered simply that if we love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, we will have fulfilled all the laws.
Even non-believers know there was something different about Jesus. For one thing, Jesus Christ, being God, affected history with such an impact that he split time, dividing all human activities and events into happening before his coming (B.C.) or after his coming (A.D.). Christ had to have had a supernatural impact for non-Christians around the world to agree to dividing history in two.
The power of Christ can also be measured by beauty. If a full collection of Renaissance Christian art could be assembled, it would be worth more than all the other art in the world combined.
How and why people can trust that Christ is the Savior
First, Jesus Christ is more historically verifiable than any other person who lived in that ancient time and era—including Roman emperors and genius military-kings like Alexander the Great—because of the number of written eyewitness accounts that were recorded within a generation of his life. In addition, there are about 1,000 times more manuscripts that preserve the deeds and teachings of Jesus than there are documents preserving any other classical ancient works of historic figures living at approximately the same time.
Second, Christ is the only person in history who was pre-announced beginning 1,000 years before he was born—with eighteen different prophets from the Old Testament between 10th and the 4th centuries B.C. predicting his coming birth, life, and death. Hundreds of years later, the circumstances of Christ’s birth, life, and death validated those prophecies in surprisingly accurate detail. This is unique to Jesus Christ—no one else in human history.
In addition to prophecy, the entire Old Testament is full of countless stories that point to the coming life and course of Jesus Christ. Abraham became the father of the Judaism after he faithfully carried out God’s command to build an altar and bind his only beloved son Isaac to it as a sacrifice. God spared Isaac when he saw that Abraham was faithful to the end in being willing to sacrifice his son. In the fullness of time God would sacrifice his only son, Jesus, to provide salvation for all who believe. Similar numerous parallels to the course of Jesus are found in Old Testament figures such as Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Boaz, Elisha, and Jonah—to name only a few.
Third, Christ not only demonstrated his otherworldly power to heal and perform the ultimate miracle of bringing the dead back to life, but he set the absolute highest standard of love possible—being willing to die to give life to others. As Jesus prophesied, his resurrection confirmed God’s power and plan: providing “seeing is believing” evidence by bringing Jesus back from the dead, taking him from being buried in a tomb to being resurrected and alive, thus providing people with living proof of who he was.
In fact, Jesus made ten separate appearances to his disciples between the resurrection and his ascension into Heaven—a period of 40 days. Some of those appearances were to individual disciples, some were to several disciples at the same time, and once even to 500 at one time. This was not hearsay, but a matter of record of multiple separate eyewitness accounts preserved in writing.
Fourth, no other religion teaches that God became flesh. The god of other religions is too high, otherworldly, and pure to be accessible in terms of having communion with his followers. In Christianity, God had his Son born in the humbleness of a stable and raised in Nazareth, a small and very poor town that was one of the lowest in social status in Israel because He wanted his Son to be approachable by people from all walks of life.
Other religious adherents are required to perform certain formalities and good works, but the Christian approaches God not by works but by a humble recognition that Christ gave his life for our sins—that he paid the price for us—and that through Christ, we find reconciliation that provides a direct relationship with God.
Christianity is Foundational to the Declaration and the Constitution
As a Christian holiday, Christmas is foundational to America’s original character. If Christ had never been born and had not died the way He did, all of history would have been different. Neither Columbus nor the Pilgrims would have received or have been motivated by the good news of salvation through Christ to explore or establish new communities with a higher purpose in the New World.
There would never have been a constitutional government created in the way and time that it was in America without two necessary conditions. The first condition is the foundation of recognizing man’s unalienable rights of freedom and equality that came from the teachings of Christ—teachings that were not fully recognized until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
The second condition is the unprecedented collection of Christian human genius that came together—rather amazingly at the same time. These were people we call the Founding Fathers, who were 95% Christian in their beliefs. It was their extraordinary biblical, historical, and classical learning, wisdom, temperament, and practical experience that enabled them to write and frame the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights. Equally important, those Christian founders knew the potential depravity that exists in everyone and can lead to abuse of power and tyranny. For this reason, they structured the government with checks and balances between the three branches of government, but also through the federalist system of division of power between the states and the federal government.
So profound was the accomplishment of the Founding Fathers that it far surpassed achievements of Periclean Athens in Greece, Cicero and the Roman Republic, Florence under the Medicis or any other nation. The founding of America was the greatest political and civic event in all human history, which is why domestic and foreign evil enemy forces work relentlessly to destroy the United States.
The constitutional republic formed by the Founders provided for and protected individual rights of freedom and independence to such an extent that America achieved material prosperity for more people, more rapidly than any prior civilization. Additionally, the American constitutional framework enabled people to move closer to the divine image in which all people are created free and equal more than they would have achieved under any prior system.
The Essence and Summary
It is remarkable that Christ had no servants, yet everyone called him master. He had no formal education or degree, yet educated Jews called him rabbi and teacher. Jesus had no medicines, yet he was desperately sought out as a healer. He had no army, yet emperors and kings feared him.
History shows that every level of human advancement was made possible by God who became man, born in the humble circumstances of a dirty stable in the small village of Bethlehem, a speck in the vast Roman Empire. And while that empire would crumble and fall, Jesus—who had neither an army nor won military battles—went on to become the Lord and Savior for people who believe all over the world. While Jesus did say, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” he also taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer, in which he implored that God’s “will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
As for our present predicament, Jesus would say, as he told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Among the Apostles, John, says it best: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” In the end, the Christmas story is about peace and the great joy that good will triumph over evil.