Do you hear?

We listen to sermons and carols and hymns during Christmastime but do we really hear their message? God sent His Son, Jesus, as a baby long ago to be our Savior. But how many people really believe this? Is it just a good story to tell at church or in your home? Is it just a tradition that has been passed down in your family? Does it mean more to you than just a manger scene on the mantel or on a bookshelf?

God’s word is the truth and in it, we read that He sent His Son to be the Savior of us all. His birth was foretold many hundreds of years before He came. The prophets told of the virgin who would bear the Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. They also foretold of the city He would be born in and that He would lie in a manger. Jesus had to come because God had foretold this way back in Genesis that “the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent”. He is our Savior and our King.

The angels told the shepherds on the night that He came. Later, the wise men from the East would come bearing gifts for the “King of Kings”. This is the real reason that we celebrate His birth at Christmas, even if He wasn’t born in December. Why do I say that? Because the shepherds were in the field with the sheep and in December it is much too cold for them to be out in the open all night. Jesus was likely born during the Feast of Tabernacles between September and October.

Why would He come during this time? To “tabernacle” with His people as God with us, Immanuel. He had a job to do when He grew up but He had to come and be “with us” to experience being part of humanity and to know our weaknesses even though He didn’t have our nature, our propensity to sin. He came at the time that was prophesied that He would come and in the way that the Messiah was supposed to come into the world.

Jesus or Yeshua (Joshua) means this: Etymologically, the name “Jesus” or “Joshua” derives from Hebrew roots meaning “the Lord is salvation.

He fulfilled so many prophecies that referred to His birth and His coming so that there would be no question about Who He was and yet He was not recognized by the Jewish leaders of the day. Why? Was it because of their “self-righteous” attitude? Possibly. They knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, the city of David, but since He was raised in Nazareth near Gallilee and they seemed to be prejudiced toward people in that region. “How could the Messiah be from that town?”.

Much of their attitude toward the Messiah was because they were expecting a warrior-King to save Israel from the Roman empire. That is not the reason He came at that time.

God sent Jesus to take the sins of mankind on Himself and pay the price for all of them. We have to accept this atonement that was performed for us to be saved. Saved from what? Eternal death. If I’m dead, it won’t matter. No, all of us have an immortal soul that lives on into eternity and we have a body that can feel pain and suffering. If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will be cast away from God’s Presence forever. You will be cast into the lake of fire just as the demons and Satan will be. Because you rejected the gift of God through Jesus that gives you an eternity with Him. The very Author of Life itself offers each of us eternity in heaven if we will believe in Jesus for our salvation. Please, don’t turn this gift down. You don’t have to do anything except repent and believe in Jesus for it. Don’t wait because you may not have another chance to do this.

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