The birth of Jesus is the most celebrated day yet the most controversial as pertains to the exact day of reference. Different theologians have a different time line in which they use to calculate the date. These variations became eminent when the world’s chronometer shifted from 1999 to 2000. It marked the dawn of the new millennium but other purists claim that it was celebrated a year earlier than it should have. Thus, these controversy brews doubts as to the precise day in which the Saviour was born. The birth of Jesus is only accounted for in the gospel of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament. In these gospels the chronology has not been mentioned but the Roman Christians acknowledged it to be 6th January. Therefore, today the controversy of time is taken as baseless because Christmas symbolizes a renewed joy in the Christian life: a time for happiness and festivities. In the words of the angels: “this day a Saviour will be born-Christ the Lord” (Luke 2: 11) thus Jesus is a source of salvation to sinners.
The birth of Jesus is the Christian account of how a messiah was born to deliver the world from sin.
Synopsis of the birth of Jesus
Jesus was conceived by Mary when John the Baptist’s mother (Elizabeth) was six months into pregnancy. The angel named Gabriel was sent by God to inform Mary that she was going to have a son. That son was conceived through the immaculate power of God because Mary was a virgin about was about to marry Joseph. When Angel Gabriel broke the news to her, she was very scared because she knew the news of pregnancy would not auger well with Joseph. The angel promised her that Joseph would not reject her and advised her of how favoured she was in the eyes of God. When Mary revealed this to Joseph, he decided to break off their relationship in a private manner without the notification of other people.
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As he thought of how to execute his plans, an angel appeared before him and confirmed that she was indeed pregnant through the Holy Spirit. The angel then instructed him that the name of the baby would be Jesus. The role of this child was to save the world from sins and he would also be called Immanuel meaning that God was in the presence of the people (Lucado, 1995). After this revelation by the angel, Joseph decided to marry Mary after all. Jesus was born at the time when Emperor Augustus had ordered a census throughout the Roman Empire. Each and every person was required to register their names in the town in which they live. Hence, Joseph went to Bethlehem to register their names because he was a descendant of David.
While they were in Bethlehem, Mary got her labour pains and had to give birth in a manger as there was no room in the inn they sought. The shepherds who were guarding their flock that night were visited by an angel who gave them the good news (Luke 2: 8 NIV). He gave them a sign of prove that a child would be found lying in the manger covered with cloth. Immediately after, heaven opened and other angels joined the one talking to the shepherds in song and dance.
The shepherds then set out to Bethlehem to witness the birth of their king. When they arrived, they found Mary and Joseph with a child lying in the manger and knew that the angels had spoken the truth. Then a group of people who had prowess in reading the movement of the stars came to Herod demanding to see the small king. Herod was not happy with this piece of news and sent the wise men to investigate the exact place the baby was born. The star led them to Jesus and they brought him gifts like gold, frankincense and myrrh. After the short visit they returned to their country because God had warned them not to take the message back to Herod. That same night an angel instructed Joseph to run with his family to Egypt because it was no longer safe there. Herod then instructed his subjects to kill all the children who were two years and below as prophesied by Jeremiah but metaphorically as Rachael crying for her dead children.
Importance of the birth of Jesus
The birth of Jesus is important in the Christendom because it represents the actual purpose for which Christians believe and hold their faith. The existence of Jesus Christ proves the validity of the Old Testament. Most of prophesies made in the Old Testament have come to existence because of the birth of Jesus. According to prophet Jeremiah, babies would be killed in search of the Jewish king that was born (Jeremiah 31:15 NIV). This came true when Jesus and his family had migrated to Egypt to escape from the wrath of Herod.
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Again, the birth of Jesus was the beginning of the Christian faith where people believe of the second coming of the Lord to deliver them from the worldly misery. According to Simeon, Jesus would act as the light among the Jews and Gentiles (Luke 2: 25-32). The Bible also reveals that the only way to heaven is by following in the footsteps of Jesus. No one can have eternal life if they are not at par with the requirements of Jesus. Moreover, Jesus was born to save people from their sins so that they do not perish. He gave the Christians a chance to hope for a life where there is no pain, tears or any form of problem. He made people believe about a place called heaven where peace abides.
Popular misconceptions about the birth of Jesus
Christians have always said that he was born on 25th December but the Bible does not tell of the precise date that his birth took place. It only talks of Jesus being born at the time when Herod was King (Matthew 2: 18 NIV). Again, it is always depicted that Mary was riding at the back of a donkey when they arrived in Bethlehem but this is not the case. It is not outlined how they reached Bethlehem. It is also assumed that Jesus was born in a stable but the bible talks of manger which is a feeding trough. The trough could be anywhere not necessarily in a stable and the bible just talks of a scenario where there were no rooms in the inn. In addition, people assume that Mary gave birth on the same day they arrived in Bethlehem but it is stated otherwise (Lucado, 1995). According to Luke 2: 6, it is written that time came for Mary to have a baby while they were in Bethlehem, so it could have been days past since they arrived.
As aforementioned, the precise date of birth of Jesus is not important because Christians understand the greater purpose of his existence. Matthew accounts for the birth of Jesus while Herod still ruled Bethlehem while Luke accounts for it as having been a decade after Herod’s death. However, Christians have resulted to adorning 25th December as the day in which Christ was born. The nativity of Jesus is the basis by which Christmas exists and marked as holy by Christians all over the world. It is vital that Christians remind themselves of his second coming so as to be reunited forever in heavenly bliss. Therefore as Christians, Christ still remains the reason why faith and hope exists.
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