What is the true meaning of Christmas?

by Matt Slick

The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus who lived in Israel 2000 years ago and who died on the cross for our sins (1 Corinthians 15 1-4; 1 Peter 2:24). More specifically, when we  use the word "meaning", we're talking about the purpose of his birth that Christmas is supposed to celebrate.  His purpose  was to enter into the world and become one of us, that he might deliver us from our sins. Jesus is not just any man. He is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9).  He is the second person of the Trinity who, by being born of the Virgin Mary, was  made under the law (Galatians 4:4) and subject to the same temptations and limitations that we are. Christmas is the celebration of the historical event of where God entered into our world so that he might display the perfection and holiness of God and that through his work of living perfectly and also dying on the cross for our sins, that all who trust in him would be saved from the  righteous judgment of God.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him," (John 3:16-17).

So, Christmas is supposed to be the time of year where we celebrate the birth of Christ. But, unfortunately, it's become a commercial holiday rather than a religious one. Is mostly known as a time for businesses to make money, for people to give gifts, for children to be excited, for parties, etc. The "reason for the season" is supposed to be Jesus, not gifts, not parties, and not watching "the big game".  Of course, having celebrations, attending parties, and watching the big game or not wrong. It's just that the meaning of Christmas is supposed to a recognition of and appreciation of the birth of the one who loves us and died for  in our place.

  • "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 1:18).
  • "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end," (Luke 1:26-33).

Jesus' birth place was prophesied in the Old Testament.

  • “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity," (Micah 5:1-2).

Jesus' being born of a virgin was prophesied in the Old Testament.

  • "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel," (Isaiah 7:14).

Jesus being God in flesh was prophesied in the Old Testament.

  • "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace," (Isaiah 9:6).
  • "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn," (Zechariah 12:10).

Jesus would be preceded by a great profit was prophesied in the Old Testament

  • A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God," (Isaiah 40:3).

Jesus is the reason for the season

Jesus gives meaning to Christmas. Jesus who was God in flesh, perfect, pure, holy, and who died on the cross and rose from the dead, is the one who gives the true meaning to Christmas 

 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.