The Body of Jesus

then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9-10).

Search the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation, and you will not find a single syllable about Christmas. There is no divine authority for the celebration of the birth of Christ.

But didn’t an angel of the Lord tell the shepherds, “I bring you glad tidings of great joy which will be to all people”? Absolutely (Luke 2:10). And didn’t angels praise God when He was born? Most certainly (Luke 2:15-16). And wasn’t this a most wonderful fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of Immanuel/”God with us”? Indeed, it was (Matthew 1:23).

So, what’s the problem with a celebration of the birth of Christ?

When you go back and carefully examine Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts of the birth and consider the point made here in Hebrews 10:9-10, every New Testament writer is clear on this point: From the very beginning of the gospel, God’s focus has always been upon Christ’s atonement for sin, not His becoming flesh and dwelling among us.

Why was Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem such glad tidings? Because a Savior has been born (Luke 2:11). Why was God praised? Because the One who came to do His will and sanctify His people through the offering of His body (Hebrews 10:10) had come into the world. Why is the coming of Immanuel so significant? Because He shall save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

The holy day Jesus left for our perpetual remembrance is not annual; it is weekly. Every Lord’s Day (the day of His resurrection/the first day of the week) is a holy day in which Christ’s disciples gather to worship Him and remember His death by partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

Jesus’ death is the reason for His birth.

His atonement necessitated His incarnation. Therefore, His atonement is the focal point of His only authorized holy day. He and His will are honored only when we do as He wishes.

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Author: jchowning

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