orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

December 22, 2012

IS CHRISTMAS THE DAY JESUS DIED?

Charles Holt
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — An American journalist visits Tokyo a few days before Christmas. He sees the city streets decked out with Christmas lights rivaling anything one can see in any large American city. Department stores are lavishly decorated to celebrate the Christmas theme.  It’s not unusual to see Japanese streets decorated on Christmas although the primary religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto.

 

A young shopper exits a department store. The journalist asks her opinion on the significance of Christmas. “What is the meaning of Christmas?” he asks. Not knowing for certain, she answers with a question. “Is Christmas the day Jesus died?”

 

We may forgive this young Japanese, chalking up her answer as a result of the great cultural divide that exists between being raised in a predominately Christian society as opposed to a predominately non-Christian one. But wait! Her answer may be more revealing than she intended or that we are ready to admit.

 

I believe a majority agrees that the so-called “Christmas Season” has been hijacked and is rapidly being replaced by a more secular view. The dictionary’s definition is clear. “Secularism: Religious skepticism or indifference; the view that religious considerations should be excluded from civil affairs or public education” (American Heritage Dictionary).

 

We know for a fact that Christmas does not celebrate the death of Jesus. It celebrates his birth. But the changing scenes, changing themes, and changing traditional Christmas greetings; the earlier jump that the media is making to emphasize its commercial (money-making potential) all conspire to ask, “Is Christmas the day Jesus died?”

 

Christ’s birth was announced first to shepherds. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy . . . For unto you is born . . . A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-12 KJV). Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host began praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14 KJV).

 

Months later wise men (the Magi) from the east came to seek the Savior. Following the shining star they came to Bethlehem. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11 KJV).

 

Don’t let Christmas kill Jesus.