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Merry Christmas!

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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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Why We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

On Sunday we celebrated Easter or Resurrection Sunday. In either case we celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some people favor the crucifixion as taking place on Friday (Good Friday). However this is based on a misunderstanding of Scripture. It is true that it took place the day before the Sabbath, but there was the Passover (a Sabbath) that week on Thursday.

There is the additional problem of getting three days and nights between Friday and Sunday. There are some pretty fanciful ideas out there to solve that problem. The truth is that we are talking about real days as in 24 hours. You simply can’t get three 24 hour days between Friday and Sunday.

To resolve this some have placed the crucifixion on Thursday. But this still doesn’t work because the Jewish day started at dusk (around 6 pm). So you’d have Friday and Saturday (2 days) and Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday evening (3 nights). An additional problem is that the Passover (a High Sabbath) was on Thursday.

The only solution that works is the crucifixion was on Wednesday. Passover began at 6 pm, thus beginning Thursday and the Passover. Now you get three days and nights with Jesus rising sometime between Saturday 6 pm (start of Sunday) and Sunday 6 am.

I’ve included a chart to show the events of those days.

However the real point of our celebration is not the name (Easter vs. Resurrection Sunday) or the day of crucifixion. Nor is it just the resurrection. We celebrate His death, burial and resurrection. He died for our sins thus satisfying the holy justice of God and rose on the third day to signify that we have new life in Christ. The two must be together.

It has special significance for believers: It proves the deity of Christ; it fulfills scripture; it proves that what Christ said about Himself and His power to forgive sin is true; it shows there is eternal existence after death; and it shows that ultimately Christ and all believers will have the victory irrespective of politics, etc. here on Earth.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.