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Christmas facts: true or false?

December 8, 2008

by Rev. Wally Glucklich, Elim Mission Church, Cokato

For 2,000 years, the Christian community has acknowledged the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. The Church acknowledges the uniqueness of God becoming a man and how the prophesies of hundreds and even thousands of years before His birth came true.

For example, the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in Matthew 1:23; that Jesus is the Son of God is prophesied in Psalm 2:7, and fulfilled in Matthew 3:17; and that He was to be born in Bethlehem was prophesied in Micah 5:2, and fulfilled in Matthew 2:1.

Jesus’ birth was announced by the angels, and shepherds came to a stable to worship Him. A special astronomical phenomena drew wisemen from the East to worship Him. The events leading up to the birth of Jesus acknowledge that a divine act has taken place.

As one perceives these facts – prophesied hundreds of years before His coming, a precise prediction of the location of His birth, that a son would be born by a virgin, His birth announced by angels and many other phenomenal events – we may wonder if these events are really true, or the imaginations of Messianic devotees. Our human reasoning naturally rejects miracles, angels, divine healings, God giving a child to a virgin, or even that the heavenly skies would declare God’s glory to wisemen in the east.

The facts do not make sense – that’s not the way things work. As a result, there are many who try to explain each event as an unusual natural event. There are others who allegorize and revise every event, and others outright deny that these things even happened.

Just as in history, people want to reconstruct or distort the facts to obtain their intended outcomes, so in biblical narratives, there are many, such as those from the Historical Jesus movement, who try to reconstruct Biblical history from a humanistic point of few.

Therefore, today, in society, many have chosen to reject the divine aspect of the Christmas events, and only accept the birth of the human Jesus. If we accept only the human Jesus, then we must place Him on the same plain as other good men and other very religious leaders of the world.

On the other hand, if He is the divine Son of God, “God becoming flesh,” then He is not an equal, but God Himself. This is how Jesus answers Pilate regarding His purpose for coming in John 18:37, “In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” If so, then His words in John 14:6 are true, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Even if we deny the biblical account of the birth of Christ, even if we explain it away, even if we try to reconstruct or revise the accounts, it does not change the facts of Scriptural history.

It may sound absurd, but we must still make a decision regarding Galatians 4:4, “When the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under Law, to redeem those under Law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.” as being true or false.

If false, under what empirical evidence is it false? If true, then we must respond to the truth of the living God.

No matter what the revisionists of the biblical history say about the coming of Christ, the Scriptural facts still remain, that Jesus, the Son of God came to earth, born by a virgin named Mary. Do we believe this to be true? If so how does it, and will it change our lives?