The Riddle Report 12 24 2020
Merry Christmas everyone. Today’s news is about the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Date of Christ’s Birth
Most people know that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. Rather, this was a date set aside by the Catholic Church to counter pagan beliefs and traditions. Some of their traditions eventually became part of the Christmas celebration. But this blog is not about that.
Scholars have long debated the actual date of Jesus’ birth. There are many theories as to the date. The most reliable theories fall between 6 BC and 1 BC. The most reliable source is the Bible.
In the Bible we are referred to Cyrenius, governor of Syria. We now know that he ruled twice; the first began in 4 BC and ended in 1 BC, while the second began in 6 AD. We also know the taxing was the first of Cyrenius (Luke 2:2). And, of course, it was while Caesar Augustus ruled (Luke 2:1). While I make no pretensions of being a Bible scholar these facts suggest that the birth of Christ was somewhere around 4 BC or 3 BC.
Time of Christ’s Birth
While some people try to state the time of day for His birth, I won’t go there. However, as to the time of year, we have facts that point to a particular season.
According to the Bible, it was while the shepherds were “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night”. That means they were nearby and not in the mountains. It can also be further narrowed down to either Fall or Spring as the time for lambing, the reason for being in the fields, occurred between mid-September and mid-March. Of the two, Fall would seem the most likely, but some believe it was Spring.
There is a belief, based primarily on astrological charts, that Christ was born on September 11, 3 BC. While this certainly places His birth in the Fall, the use of astrological charts would seem inappropriate and unreliable. Just the same the time of year seems relatively correct.
We can say for sure that according to the Bible Jesus Christ was born during the rule of Caesar Augustus and governor Cyrenius’ rule. When you check out the dates the year seems to be either 4 BC or 3 BC.
But That is not the Most Important Fact.
If God wanted to clear up the matter of the date of Christ’s birth, He would have given us the information we needed right in the Bible. But the birth of Christ has a greater significance than the date.
While we tend to look at the physical scene, there was a spiritual scene taking place that made the birth of Christ of eternal importance! This is the fact that the Living Word of God became flesh for the purpose of dying on the Cross as our Redeemer! (John 1:1-14)
Many years ago, I was in charge of an Easter display at our local mall in Michigan. I asked a friend of mine, who was quite good as an artist, to draw a picture of the Nativity Scene with the shadow of the Cross passing over the manger. And that is how we should picture the Nativity Scene.
Christmas and Easter are eternally connected; without the manger there is no Cross and without the Cross there is no need for a manger!
As my pastor recently preached, John 1:1-14 is the spiritual backdrop to Luke 2:7-12. Christ came into the world to die on the Cross so that you and I might have eternal life! (John 3:16)
How Then Should I Celebrate Christmas?
It is all right to celebrate Christmas with a Christmas tree, a nativity scene, the exchanging of gifts, and singing songs. But it is imperative that we remember that the little Babe in the manger came into the world to save us poor miserable wretches by taking our sins upon Himself, dying in our place on the Cross, and becoming our Saviour!
Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. May you find joy and peace in Jesus!
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