Christmas: Whose birthday is it after all?
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Whose birthday is it after all?
Christmas season will be here soon. And many countries will change. People will spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts and receive a lot of gifts that they don’t like. Others will feel extremely lonely and commit suicide. Some people like me will miss “Christmas at home”. Some will have the most wonderful time of the year, as they finally reunite with their extended family and have an opportunity that they only have once a year.
But what is Christmas really all about?
Well, most people would give a quick answer: At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Alright. But who is He actually? Is He just a historic figure? A great religious teacher? A very influential Rabi?
Well, Jesus didn’t leave that open to us. Jesus claimed that He is a human being whose identity is God. He said that He will decide where every human being (including you and me) will spend eternity. He claimed that He will judge the world and be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
How can He say such a thing?
Well, as C.S. Lewis put it, there are basically only three possibilities:
- He was evil. He knew what He said wasn’t true. He purposely deceived people. He lied. He asked people to follow him fully knowing that he was deceiving them. He created a religion around himself that was based on a lie.
- He was deluded. He believed what He said, but it wasn’t true. He was crazy, insane or lunatic. He was completely wrong about his teaching, though he believed in what He said.
- He is exactly who He said He is.
Jesus never gave us the option to believe in Him as a “great religious teacher” or a very gifted and special prophet. Either something was really wrong with Him (being evil or insane). Or He is who He says He is.
Now I personally have obviously come to my conclusions. But for good reasons.
First of all, I can’t believe that Jesus was evil. While Christians all over the world have done a lot of bad things in the name of Christ, we cannot find such a record for Jesus Himself. Look at His life and the effects of His life. He healed people, even raised dead people back to life. He gave hope to people. He loved people and helped them. Could these be the works of someone who is evil, someone who is purposely deceiving everybody He meets?
Then could He be deluded? Well, I doubt. Look at what crazy opposition Jesus faced. Yet his opponents came to the conclusion that “we cannot find any fault in this man”.
As one person on Alpha, not a Christian at the time, put it: For the last 2000 years people have been talking about Jesus. Millions of people have analyzed his life, his claims, trying to figure out whether He was God. If for 2000 years nobody was able to prove Him wrong, find anything in His life that was imperfect, then He must be true.
And if you think of His resurrection: If a man comes to you and says “I’m going to die and three days later I’m going to raise again from the dead”, how would you respond? If you are like me, you would call that person crazy.
But if that same person then actually pulls it off,… that would change my opinion completely.
But that’s exactly what Jesus did, and it’s historically proven. Jesus claimed that He will die and rise again from the dead. And then He did it. Any serious historian, Christian and non-Christian alike, comes to this conclusion.
Can this really be the deeds of a person who is deluded or crazy and doesn’t even know who He is?
Which leaves us with the third possibility: It is true! Jesus is exactly who He says He is: The Son of God.
So … whose birthday is it after all on Christmas? Make your choice:
If you believe that Jesus is evil, then I recommend that you don’t go to church and don’t celebrate Christmas. After all, celebrating the birthday of one of the most evil people who ever lived on this earth is kind of … sad.
If you believe that Jesus is insane, then I would have the same recommendation. Why celebrate the birthday of a man who turned the world upside down, but is completely crazy and deluded? Stay away from Him. He’s dangerous and lead billions of people astray.
But if you believe that He is who He says He is, then you should really think twice about the consequences. If Jesus decides whether you spend eternity in heaven or hell, then maybe you should do something about it. And find out who He will let into heaven. And who He will cast into hell.
I have made my choice. I celebrate the birth of the one who gave me hope when my life was headed in the total wrong direction, turned me around and gave me meaning and purpose.
Now it’s your turn to make your choice.
So … whose birthday are you celebrating at Christmas?
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