God gave His Son, the great Christmas gift, to the human race

Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 22, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I would much rather celebrate Christmas than Easter because of the stories associated with these holidays. Christmas is about birth and Easter is about death, but some say that stories in the Old Testament and even the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth are prophecies about his death and the penalty for sin. This certainly isn’t represented in the Christmas story at all.– E.C.

Dear E.C.: For Christmas to have meaning, it cannot be separated from the cross. The angel said about the birth of Jesus, “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV). He was the only person that’s ever been born in history who was born with the purpose of dying. Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born” (John 18:37, NKJV). The Apostle Paul years later said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:15, NKJV).
Jesus’ death had been prophesied thousands of years before. First, in Eden’s garden. Then, Abraham foresaw His death as the lamb that was slain – the children of Israel symbolized His death in the slaughtered lamb. Every time blood was shed on a Jewish altar, it represented the Lamb of God who would someday come and take away sin. David prophesied His death in detail in more than one prophetic psalm. Isaiah devoted whole chapters to predicting the details of His death. Jesus Christ said that He had power to lay down His life. Jesus faced the certainty of the cross far back in eternity. During all the ages that preceded His birth, He knew that the day of His death was hastening on.
God gave His Son, the great Christmas gift, to the human race. To receive this gift we must humble ourselves, confess our sins, and turn to Christ by faith. God has promised forgiveness, healing, and eternal life to all who will believe in Him and submit to Him in loving obedience.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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