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December 16, 2014

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 16 December 2014

Many Americans celebrate the Christmas holiday anticipating time with family and friends, the giving and receiving of gifts, pretending about Santa Claus with children, and, of course, the big meals. However, have you truly taken the time to consider the reason why we celebrate Christmas? The holiday is one of the most important and eagerly anticipated of Western societies. Why is it so important and so eagerly anticipated?

Well, certainly we enjoy singing the traditional Christmas carols during this time of year. Carols such as I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Jingle Bells, and White Christmas appeal to our sense and memories. Others such as Away in a Manger, First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and Silent Night praise the One for whom the holiday is named. Certainly, most of you know that Christmas is a compound word composed of “Christ” (literally, the Anointed One or Messiah) and “Mass” (i.e. holy-day), and so the word itself lets us know that it is the day which we celebrate the birth of God’s Anointed One, Jesus the Messiah (the Christ).

The birth of Jesus of Nazareth was an historical event anticipated for over 4,000 years (see Gen 3:15). Eve, the first woman, was well acquainted with the fact that God had promised a Savior (rescuer, deliverer) to defeat the devil, Satan; and, to rescue (deliver) those in bondage to sin. He is the Promised One who would “bruise the head” of Satan and destroy his influence upon the earth at his second coming. He is the Anointed One of God who has been identified as the most unique person in the history of the world.

He is the prophesied Lamb of God who was born to die on the cross at Calvary, as a sinless substitute for depraved mankind, and thereby pay the price and remove the consequences of sin. He is the death-conquering Savior who rose literally from the dead and conquered sin and death once for all time, so that those who have been redeemed may be free from the slavery that sin and death maintain in this world. He is the Prince of Peace who will bring internal peace to those He has saved, and external peace when He returns a second time.

He is God the Son who loved the world so much that He would lay aside the eternal glory and majesty that attended Him in heaven, to become a man, a servant, who would give his life to death in obedience to his Father’s will, so that those who believe on Him would receive his life for eternity. He is the Child born to die. Those three words, “born to die,” state simply and clearly that our Lord Jesus Christ laid aside his glory, majesty, and rights as God Almighty and took upon Himself the nature of a man.

Philippians 2:6-11 not only testifies as to the reason He came, but even more so the attitude that was His during his humiliation. The Son of God became the Servant of God when He became the Son of Man. Fully God in His nature, He took to Himself the full nature of humanity. Being fully God and fully man, He would be able to provide reconciliation in a manner that would satisfy the holy justice of God the Creator, and make provision for those who are in rebellion against God. Second Corinthians 5:19 reads, Jesus Christ “was reconciling [bring back into fellowship or friendship] the world unto Himself [in Christ, by means of Jesus’ death and resurrection], not counting their trespasses [missing the standard of God’s perfection to spend eternity with Him] again them” [that is you and me who live by faith in God’s dear Son]. The Child of Christmas became a man, who gave his life so by grace through faith in His work alone, we may live with Him in the fullness of his glory for eternity. Merry Christmas indeed!

By the Grace of God and for His Glory,

Chaplain Ron at Capitol

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Georgia State Minister, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org

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