Try to imagine that first Christmas for Mary and Joseph. They traveled on foot down that dirty dusty hilly road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. And they weren't on any Christmas vacation. They were on their way to be counted in a census decreed by Cesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor. It was probably a very difficult two day journey. Mary was pregnant and in her third trimester. That had to be one rotten, miserable trip.
When they arrived at their destination, Bethlehem, the place was packed with other people, also forced there for the census. There was no room for them at the inn. This young engaged couple found shelter in a place made for the animals. If you have ever been in a barn with a bunch of farm animals, you know that stinks!
When the baby was born, he was wrapped in cloths and laid in a feeding trough lined with straw. It was far from a nice baby crib and there were no new baby clothes for him to wear. They were poor and not yet married. In those days, in that very religious society, to have a child out of wedlock was taboo. Their families probably looked down on them and I doubt that they had any happy baby showers for this couple. Although, this birth was a fulfillment of prophecy, they had just a few visitors that first Christmas night. Their visitors were the social outcasts of that day, shepherds. The shepherds had received a personal invitation that night to celebrate the birth by an angel and a multitude of heavenly host.
"The Lamb of God" was born in a manger and was surrounded by shepherds. You can take the Word of God literally.
This baby boy, Jesus, was the promised one, the fulfillment of prophecy, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord, and the Savior of this world. His birth was foretold in the Old Testament, Genesis 3:15, Micah 5:2 and more verses. The perfect Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary.
The magi (also referred to as the three wise men or three kings from the East) showed up two years later. Shortly after that King Herod, in an attempt to kill this new king, ordered that all the baby boys in Bethlehem and the vicinity killed. (Matthew 2:16) This horrible event was also a fulfillment of prophecy (Jeremiah 31:15).
There is a lot more to this story. Read it in the Book of Luke in the New Testament of the Holy Bible and then don't stop, keep reading.
So why a dirty rotten Christmas? Jesus came into this world to save us all from our sin, no matter how dirty and rotten.
The Bible says, "All have sinned and fall short" (Romans 3:23). No one is good enough to make it to heaven on their own good deeds.
I pray that this Christmas you will know the true meaning of Christmas and accept the free gift of salvation, made available through what Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross of Calvary. Jesus is the perfect Lamb of God, the blood sacrifice, that takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)
Thank you for reading this blog post. Please feel free to post a comment if you want to know more about my friend Jesus.
Trust me, there will be many people praying for you. :-)