Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The History behind the Story

The origins of the word history come from a combination of two words: ‘His’ and ‘Story’.  History is not just a series of dates and events. Rather, history is the story of God working through people. The history of civilization is built around one focal point --the advent of the Savior of the world. Therefore we should make a conscientious effort to study History and social science with an eye to discover God’s timing, God’s provision, God’s purpose, God’s planning, and God’s truth. When History and social science are taught with a focus on God, we can see that history truly is His Story. Since the creation of the first man Adam, and throughout the history of mankind, there has never been a greater and more righteous person than Jesus Christ that ever lived, in example of humility, service, love, and compassion, sacrifice and in dignity, wisdom, majesty, authority and power. 

There is no other person in history who can claim that his coming was the fulfillment of numerous prophecies written hundreds and even thousands of years before His appearance. Jesus stands alone. Between Jesus Christ and every other person there is no possible term of comparison. Modern civilization marks his birth by dividing time B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. stands for the Latin term "anno Domini" which means "year of the Lord.” In other words B.C. ended and A.D. began with the arrival of Christ. The entire Bible is about Jesus. The Old Testament says, “Behold, He comes.” The Gospels say, “Behold, He dies.” Acts says, “Behold, He lives!” The Epistles say, “Behold, He saves.” Revelation says, “Behold, He reigns.” That's Jesus! In this world, many people have come and gone!  Whether they be rich or poor, strong or weak, famous or ordinary, everyone will eventually die! But Jesus, who was raised from the dead, is alive and lives forevermore. Jesus said “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”(Revelation 1:18) There is not any other single fact in the history of man more profound than that fact.

The History behind the Story

I want you to read carefully to the greatest story ever recorded. It is not a fairy tale or a fable, for the story of Jesus has been documented by not only reliable New Testament writers but by major historians as well. It is a story that can be exciting to you and might possibly change your life. The life of Jesus began in north and central Palestine, a region between the Dead Sea and the Jordan River in the east and the Eastern Mediterranean in the west. This region was under Roman control since the 1st century BC, initially as a tributary kingdom. Jesus was born towards the end of the reign of Herod the Great and brought up in Nazareth, Galilee. 

In the little town of Nazareth, nestled among the hills of Galilee, was the home of Joseph and Mary, who were afterward known as the earthly parents of Jesus.  Joseph and Mary possessed little of earth's riches, but they had the love of God, and this made them rich in contentment and peace. They were children of the heavenly King, who was about to give them a magnificent honor. One day an angel named Gabriel appeared to Mary. Gabriel told Mary she would have a son, Jesus, who would be the Son of God. Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, but she had faith in God and said, "I am the Lord's servant; let it be as you say." While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary's apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.

Although Joseph's initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to validate Mary's story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God's unique plan. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us. When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah's earthly guardian.

History Is God's Story

When we think of God, we think of the most powerful and richest being in the whole universe. But do you know that son of God; the Lord Jesus was actually born into a poor family?  Gospel of Luke first chapter records the announcement of the birth of the Messiah as the one who would restore the kingdom of David.  He would be King!  And He, who would be King, would be the Son of God!  We can understand why the wise men, seeking to worship Him, went first to Jerusalem! But Luke chapter two tells us that Jesus was born, not in Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem; not in a palace but in a cattle shed; laid not in a nice crib, but a manger; dressed not in fine princely clothing but with swaddling clothes. How was it that Christ, the King, was born so lowly?  

The events surrounding the birth of Jesus have been retold so many times and in so many ways—in plays, poetry, books and movies—that most people have a distorted view of the true events. The only accurate record is found in the Holy Bible, God’s Word. Bible says a decree went out from Roman Emperor Augustus that the entire world should be registered.  The census that was ordered by Caesar Augustus was the first of its kind. It was done because the Roman government wanted to make sure that everyone in the Empire was paying their taxes correctly. The census was carried out all over Empire (most of Europe): but in Palestine, it was carried out in a Jewish way rather than a Roman way. This meant that families had to register in their historical tribal town rather than where they lived. This also meant that Joseph and the very pregnant Mary would have had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, as this was town that Joseph's family originally came from - a journey of about 70 miles. All went to their own towns to be registered.  Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judaea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 

To reach that little village from Nazareth, travelers covered some 80 hilly miles (112 km) via Samaria.  Mary and Joseph found the village to be crowded. Others had arrived to register before them, so there was no space for them at the lodging room.  They had no choice but to settle down for the night in a stable, a place where animals were kept. There was probably fresh hay on the floor that they used for beds.  That night an exciting, wonderful thing happened, Jesus was born!  But it wasn't just any new born baby; it was the Lord Jesus, The creator of the whole world, the King of Kings, the one who would save the world. The little baby boy fell asleep in Mary's arms and she wrapped him in cloths and laid him in a manger on some clean straw.

Several years ago, an astronaut climbed down a ladder and put his feet on the surface of the moon, and the President of that Nation said that was the greatest event in human history. With all due respect to that President, let me reaffirm that the greatest event in human history was not when man first put his feet upon the moon but when Almighty God came down and walked upon this earth. In Christian theology we call that the incarnation. If you do not understand this event, you don't have the golden key of all history. How sad to know biology, the study of life, and not know the source and giver of life. How sad to know astronomy, the study of the stars and of the heavens, and not to know the bright and morning Star. How sad to know geology, the study of rocks and geological ages, and not know the Rock of the ages. How sad to know botany, the study of flowers, and not to know Sharon’s sweetest Rose. How sad to know history from beginning to end and to miss the central event in history, which is the story of Jesus — His story. A wise man is ignorant, a rich man is poor, and a strong man is weak until he knows the Lord Jesus Christ intimately. This is why the Story of Bethlehem is a special story that needs to be told and retold in the days in which we live.

A Story of a prophetic fulfillment

The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was a unique account of a prophetic fulfillment. What started in Genesis continued throughout the Old Testament? God promised over and over that he would intervene in history. One day the Messiah would come.
There is no other person in history who can claim that his coming was the fulfillment of numerous prophecies written hundreds and even thousands of years before His appearance. Jesus stands alone. There are over 300 Messianic prophecies with reference to the coming of Christ as the Savior of the world. This would include but not be limited to: His lineage, His birthplace, the time, His purpose, His sacrificial death for sin, how He would die, His resurrection and many more details, hundreds and even thousands of years in advance! There is no other person in history that can make such a claim. Fulfilled prophecy is one of the great proofs of the Deity of Jesus Christ. God began to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus with a multitude of prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Him.  No politician, prophet, priest, pope, or any person in history has ever come even slightly near making such incredible claims like those made by Jesus of Nazareth.

A Story of a Place 

One of the Bible prophecies written down some seven centuries earlier foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. When prophets Micah writes of Bethlehem he writes about a small place that will produce great things. (Micah 5:2-5) While Bethlehem may have been a tiny hamlet in the country of Israel, it had a colorful past and brilliant future. The town of Bethlehem is located five miles south of Jerusalem. When we think of Bethlehem, all we think about is that Bethlehem is the birthplace of the Lord Jesus. But, in the history of that little town, there is a wealth of spiritual truth. Mary and Joseph may well have thought about the history of this little village. It was too insignificant to be numbered among Judah’s cities, just as Micah the prophet had said; yet it was the birthplace of Boaz, Naomi, and later king David, all more than a thousand years earlier. 

The name “Bethlehem” means “House of Bread”. Prophet Micah also calls it by another name “Ephratah”. This is an older name for the city. The name “Ephratah” means “Place of Fruitfulness”. How fitting that Jesus should be born here! After all, He is “The Bread of Life”, John 6:35.  Micah highlights that the story of Bethlehem is about a Place. But, it is also about a person, a purpose and a Plan. The words “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah out of you will come for me on who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old from ancient times” tell us that God had big plans for the little town of Bethlehem. Let’s consider to examine God’s eternal plan in the History.

A Story of God’s Plan and Providence

God’s providence means that he rules over the affairs of men and nations. As it pleases him, he raises up one ruler and brings down another. He moves the entire course of history so that all will be ready for the coming of his Son. With God there is no fate, no capricious cruelty, and no coincidence. Nothing ever happens “by accident” with God. All things are working together as part of his eternal plan. I love the way Charles Spurgeon said it; “There are no loose threads in the providence of God … The great clock of the universe keeps good time.”

When Adam and Eve sinned in Eden, God gave humanity the first glimpse of His plan. He told Adam and Eve that a Redeemer would be born someday down the line, Gen. 3:15. This Redeemer would defeat the devil.    As the years went by, more and more of God’s plan was revealed. When God saved His people out of their bondage in Egypt by the blood of a Lamb, Ex. 12, He revealed a little more of His Purpose. When He gave them the Manna and brought water from a rock, He revealed even more. When He gave Israel the Law and the sacrificial system, He was revealing His eternal plan. Every aspect of the Tabernacle, the priesthood and the sacrifices revealed more and more of God’s plan. Through the mouths of the prophets God gave insight into His Purpose. When Isaiah prophesied about a virgin birth, Isa. 7:14, he was writing about the person of God and His purpose. When he told us about that child that was to be born, Isa. 9:6, he was writing about the savior Lord Jesus. When he told us about the Messiah and the pain He would suffer, Isa. 53:1-6, he was writing about the suffering of His son to redeem the world. Then Micah revealed the birth place of the Messiah. He told us where the King would be born. He told us that the One who would fulfill the plan would come from the little town of Bethlehem. He was merely revealing more of the Purpose and plan of God.

God’s plan is an old plan, (see Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8.) He formulated this plan in eternity past and carried it out in time. This plan involved God becoming a man. It involved Him coming into this world to live as a man. It involved Him going to the cross to die for the sins of fallen men. It involved Him rising from the dead and ascending back to Heaven. It involved Him returning in glory to rule and reign on this earth some day. This plan is a good plan! It was a plan designed with you and me in mind! Micah didn’t know all the details of God’s eternal plan; he just knew that a King was coming. The rest of the Bible reveals the other details of the plan. God sent His Son to die for us 2,000 years ago. And history itself has been changed forever. That’s what matters. For a little over 30 years the Son of God walked on this earth and nothing has been the same since. He came and in his coming he split time itself in two. That’s the real importance of the year 2016. 

A Story of a Person 

Two thousand years ago the Creator of the universe, the eternal God, entered human society as a baby. The Creator of the universe put on humanity. The Lord of heaven came to live on earth. On a night like every other night in Bethlehem, with no trumpet blast, no celebration by anybody, a child was born. It was a night like any other night but it wasn't a child like any other child. This child was the Lord Jesus Christ, God and man fused together in indivisible oneness. This birth was so monumental that it became the high point of history, the peak, the apex. All history before this birth is B.C., Before Christ. All history since is A.D., Anno Domini, Latin for "the year of our Lord." There is no one that has had a greater impact on the world than Jesus Christ. That fact is indisputable. You may not like Him, you may even despise Him, but you cannot deny His existence and the impact that He has made upon humanity. Who is this man who stands at the apex of human history?

Surely this is the major point. He is the center of history. History is really His Story, planned and told by God. Secular history gives us dates and times and places and people, but only God can give meaning to history. His birth is the hinge on which the door of history swings. He came at the appointed time—not a moment too late, not a second too early. This means that the first Christmas miracle started long before Bethlehem. It took place over many centuries as God prepared the world for the coming of his Son.

Jesus Christ did not have His beginning in Bethlehem. That little baby in a manger is the great God Who created the universe. Jesus had no earthly father. Joseph was only his legal guardian, not his real father. His mother was the virgin, Mary. According to the Scriptures, this woman had never known a man. The power of the most high God came upon her, and she conceived a child of the Holy Ghost (see Luke 1:34, 35). Mary never knew a man until after Jesus was born. It is necessary that we understand and believe in the miracle of virgin birth. Jesus was born of a woman, just like you and I were. But, His birth was different in that it was not His beginning. He always had been, was, and will always be the eternal One. The Bible tells us that Jesus birth was the word of God becoming flesh (see John 1:14). This Is God becoming flesh to dwell among the human race in order that He might reveal Himself to mankind and become our sin sacrifice so we could be saved.

When Jesus was born, the Creator of the universe became instantly dependent upon His mother for His very life.  The One Who made the sun and caused its light to heat the earth needed His mother to wrap His body in swaddling clothes so that He might be warm.     The One Who’s heart was so full of love for humanity that He left Heaven to come and die for sinners, needed to feel His mother’s arms wrapped around Him for comfort.     The One Who made it all, controls it all and owns it all, laid it all aside and became a helpless infant because He loved us so much. Bible says      “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich,” (2 Cor. 8:9).

When Jesus allowed Himself to be laid in that manger, He was identifying Himself with those He came to save. He was born in a manger and thereby He made Himself accessible to all who would come to Him. It has been rightly said that the history of the world hinges on a stable door in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus in a little village of Bethlehem forever changed the history of the world. If you say that you were born in 1990 you are saying that you were born nineteen hundred and Ninety years after the birth of Christ. The focal point of time itself is centered on the birth of Christ and is the dividing point of time in world history. Jesus Christ is to me the incomparable persona of all time, all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man. Everything he ever said or did has value for us today and that is something you can say of no other man, dead or alive. Without a doubt, Jesus is the most important figure in world history. More has been written of Him, spoken of Him, and considered of Him than of any other major character in all of recorded human history. It has been said, in fact, that history is His story.

The images of Jesus throughout history are as varied as the people who have embraced him-the Son of God, the Divine Word by whom the world was created, the Passover sacrifice on behalf of the people, the Suffering Servant who takes on the sins of the world, the new High Priest, or the intellectual genius, the liberator of the oppressed, or the prince of Peace. Each group and generation sees in Jesus a reflection of itself. It is no accident that Jesus Christ is the most widely recognized, well known and written about Person that has ever existed. You cannot ignore the enormous number of original documents that make up the Canonized books of the Bible. These are the most valued of all sources to Historians (a primary source) in validating past events. The fact that Jesus lived, was buried and then resurrected has evidence that would be considered admissible evidence in a court of law. Even the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees said as much and acknowledged that Jesus told the truth. Many of these religious rulers knew He was from God but for fear of losing their authority and positions, conspired to kill Him anyway (John 3; Luke 19:28-20, 20:20-26).  In any court of law, witnesses are invaluable. In the whole of Judea and Samaria, there were several hundred eye-witnesses who saw Jesus before and after His crucifixion (Luke 24:15-24; Act 1:3-4, 2:31-32, 9:3, 17; 1 Cor 15:4-8, 9:1; 2 Pet 1:16-21; John 2:3,15:27; 1 John 1:1-3, 14).

Millions more saw the empty tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, which Joseph had given for Jesus’ burial site. He lives today and has lived for eternity. There is an absolute avalanche of evidence for His resurrection, including over 500 eye-witnesses who had seen the resurrected Christ, many of whom were still alive, at the time of Paul’s writings (1 Cor 15:1-8).  Paul writes that “he [Christ] was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present” (1 Cor 15:6) so many were still alive and testified to this fact while Paul was writing to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians). His story is perhaps the most celebrated on Earth.

Some years ago C. K. Lee, a Christian leader from China, visited the United States. One Sunday he spoke in a church in California. At the conclusion of the message, a young college student propounded this question, “Why should we export Christ to China when you have Confucianism in your country?” “There are three reasons,” was the rejoinder. “First of all, Confucius was a teacher and Christ is a Savior. China needs a Savior more than she needs a teacher. In the second place, Confucius is dead and Christ is alive. China needs a living Savior. In the third place, Confucius is some day going to stand before Christ to be judged by Him. China needs to know Christ as Savior before she meets Him as Judge.” (Story taken from “Triumphs of Faith,” recorded in The Most Amazing Man in History.)

In the history of the world, many billions of people have lived and died. Many have left their mark on the tapestry of time, but no one has made as indelible an impression like Jesus. The Name of Jesus is the sweetest Name ever to fall upon human ears! That Name is a cause for celebration in Heaven. That Name is what changed my life, opened my eyes and saved my soul! There’s Just Something about That Name. His name is “above” every name. He became the wisest man ever to walk the earth and the greatest teacher who ever lived. His words are the words of God. It was said of Him, "Never man spoke like this man." He taught the highest truths that were ever taught. He promoted the purest ideals that were ever presented. He gave the greatest wisdom that men ever heard. He was the wisest of men and the greatest of men. Millions may wear the same name all over the world today, but there is only one Jesus Christ. 

The story, about a Solitary Life, (an Anonymous Quotes)

“Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executors gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth—His coat. When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.”

“Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built, all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.”  This child was the Lord Jesus Christ, God and man fused together in indivisible oneness. He came from the bosom of the Father to the bosom of a woman. He put on humanity that we might put on divinity. He became Son of man that we might become sons of God. If Jesus is God, He speaks in an authoritative voice that rises far above the voices of other leaders. No religious leaders ever claimed to be God. The implication of His deity is quite simple: There can be no other Name by which a lost sinner may be reconciled with God. We find grace, mercy, and salvation in Jesus our Savior and in Him alone. 
No wonder that in infancy He startled a king; in boyhood He puzzled the wise men; in manhood ruled the course of nature. He walked upon the billows and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine, and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book, yet all the libraries of the country could not hold the books that have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the theme of more songs than all the song writers combined. He never founded a college, yet all the schools together cannot boast of as many students as He has. He never practiced psychiatry, and yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near has healed broken bodies. He never marshalled an army, drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun, yet no leader ever made more volunteers, who have under His orders made rebels stack arms of surrender without a shot being fired. All may fail, but He never. The ever Perfect One - He is the Chief among ten thousand. He is wonderful Counselor, Prince of peace, Everlasting Father and He is OUR Eternal God.

Jesus Christ is the Star of Astronomy, the Rock of Geology, the Lion and the Lamb of Zoology, the Harmonizer of all discords, and the Healer of all diseases. Great men have come and gone, yet He lives on. Herod could not kill Him, Satan could not seduce Him, Death could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. He rises from the dead. The names of the past proud statesmen of Greece and Rome have come and gone. The names of the past scientists, philosophers, and theologians have come and gone; but the name of Jesus Christ abounds more and more.

A story of great Joy and peace

Nothing can capture us the mystery and the beauty of Christmas better than the carols we sing. They have the power to recreate in our imagination the scenes of the first Christmas. If there is a single word that describes what Christmas is all about, it’s the little word “joy.” Several of our favorite carols mention it: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come,” Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing. This song makes so real what Christ’s birth means to all mankind. When Christ was born, that night, some shepherds were in the fields near Bethlehem, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep. An angel appeared to them. The angel comes with “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” The angel brought us good news we can find hope. It's the best news in the world. The angel told the shepherds they could find Jesus lying in a manger. Suddenly a whole group of angels appeared saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

The birth of Jesus and His entry into this world is an unparalleled Miracle. Mystery is one of our English words that cover a lot of territory. There are many kinds of mysteries. Yet the greatest of all mysteries is that of the incarnation of the Son of God - that moment in time and eternity when God chose, by His own methods, to become a son of man to reconcile the world. Peace is a wonderful thing, but hard to find in this world. It’s worth working for and waiting for. God’s ultimate plan for peace rests not in treaties or lessons or progress, or material prosperity. God’s plan for Peace is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. The Hebrew Bible uses a familiar but significant word, shalom. In its purest sense, shalom means "peace." The connotation is positive. That is, when someone says, "Shalom," or, "Peace unto you," it doesn't mean, "I hope you don't get into any trouble"; it means, "I hope you have all the highest good coming your way."

This is why the Old Testament prophecies gave many other names for the coming Messiah. For example, in Isa. 9:6 we read, “And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.”    It is not that Jesus was given these names at birth, but that these names would be characteristic of Him. Isaiah tells us that God’s plan for world peace is focused on a one person—a baby asleep in a manger in Bethlehem. He is the ultimate man of peace. The final title of the above verse is the climax of all that has gone before. The word “prince” means something like “General of the Army.” It speaks of his high position. The word “peace” speak of his basic nature. The phrase literally means “the prince whose coming brings peace” This speaks of the effect of his coming. In the past, his coming made peace with God. In the present, those who come to him find peace in their heart when Christ comes in. In the future, his second coming will usher in a kingdom of peace.

There are four basic types of peace mentioned in the Bible.

First, the Spiritual Peace or the peace of God that comes with salvation. (Rom. 5:1.) "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God." Peace is a divine attribute and quality. It cannot remain with wicked persons. It can fills only the pure heart. Everybody wants peace and is clamoring for peace; but peace does not come easily. Even if it comes, it does not last for a long time. Bible declares that "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 57:21) and “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) Peace is not in the heart of the carnal man. Peace is in the hearts of spiritual men. It is in the heart of an unselfish person, who has denied his self.   Greed, lust, jealousy, envy, anger, pride, and egoism are the enemies of peace. Peace is not in money, estate, bungalows, and possessions. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul of a Spiritual person.

 Second, the Emotional Peace, The peace of God that comes through total surrender to God in all things (Phil. 4:6-7; John 14:1, 27.) This is the peace that Paul speaks about in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." God alone brings peace. The peace of God is not obtainable by those who are not at peace with Him. The peace of God is not based on circumstances like the world's peace, so it doesn't always make sense to the carnal mind; Paul says it is a peace that surpasses comprehension. It doesn't seem reasonable that such peace could exist in the midst of the problems and troubles Christians go through. But this is divine, supernatural peace; it cannot be figured out on a human level. Bible declares “Great peace has those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”(Psalm 119:165)
God has a very different view, about Peace and, since God is the only real giver of peace, man will have to meet God's conditions or do without. If man wants peace, he'll have to go to God and get it: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Mat. 6:33) "For the kingdom of God is not food and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 14:17) When we seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness we will have peace. Self righteousness is man's problem! The first murder on this earth was committed for this very reason (Gen. 4), and billions have died and went to Hell because of it since then, yet every generation thinks they’ll produce the magic potion for a lasting peace. Men never learn, and peace never comes, because God's peace treaty is continually refused. Bible says "The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace." (Psa. 29:11)

Jesus said, "My peace I give to you." Notice He says "My peace." It is the same deep, rich peace that stilled His heart in the midst of mockers, haters, murderers, traitors, and everything else He faced. In the midst of incomprehensible resistance and persecution, Jesus was calm and constant; He was a rock. Most people who lack peace simply have not taken the time to pursue it. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10,) And to those whose minds are steadfastly fixed on Him, He gives the gift of peace. To have that supernatural peace available puts us under obligation to lean on it. (Colossians 3:15) is not a command to seek peace, but rather a plea to let the Lord's peace work in us: "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts." You have this peace, now let it rule.

Third is the Relational Peace or Peace with others

Bible says “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” The Bible doesn’t say you have to just let it keep happening. It does say that some people are toxic (Psalm 58:4) having someone like that in your life can mess up your attitude. It can mess up your friendships. It can mess up your relationship.  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Notice the two qualifiers in this verse. First, it says “if” it is possible, not “it is.” Second, it says “as far as it depends on you.” You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners. One redeemed person can do more for the promotion of peace than a thousand unredeemed preaching and disputing, day in and day out. Reform yourself. Society will reform itself. Get selfishness and worldliness out of your heart. It is the only way to face the situation. If each man tries to work out his own salvation, there will be nobody to create the problems! If each man strives heart and soul to practice and pursue after righteousness, and to attain Godliness, he will have very little time to create quarrels. Automatically there will be peace on earth. Peace, to be lasting and constructive, must be achieved through God. There can be no peace without the God. He is the origin of Peace. Bible says “He is Our Peace” Root yourself in God of peace and peace of God will rule in your Heart then you are fit to radiate peace. Jesus also said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” 

Final one is the perpetual Peace that will come when Jesus Christ comes back to reign in glory and power, (Isa. 2:1-4.) 

 Almost two thousand years ago, Jesus’ disciples stood on the Mount of Olives, just outside the walls of Jerusalem, straining their necks as they watched Jesus go up into the sky, until he disappeared in a cloud. Then two angels appeared next to the disciples and told them that one day Jesus would come back to the earth: "Now when he [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they watched, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10, 11) This is perhaps the most famous passage in the Bible about the return of Jesus, however the Bible contains hundreds more references to the return of Jesus. Someday soon, He will return to earth in the very same miraculous way that He departed. This time, there will be no escaping the fact that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will take control of the world and remove every opponent. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord. 

Jesus Christ is called the "Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6 because it is none other than Jesus Christ who will establish a lasting peace on earth. No one else has ever done it, and no one ever will. Jesus offers spiritual peace today to those who will receive him as Lord and Savior, and he offers a literal kingdom of peace tomorrow to those who serve him today.

Jesus Christ came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU--to pay for your sins, because you couldn't. Jesus is our only hope for Peace and salvation.  Bible also says “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:7) One of the marks which distinguish Jesus Christ from every other human teacher and reformer is the fact that His influence is ever increasing. In Christ we cease to war against ourselves and others.

In the days in which we live there is much conflict and chaos both around us and unfortunately often it is within us as well. Jesus said in the last days there would be wars and rumors of wars. In over 3000 years of recorded history, the world has been Never at peace. John 14:27 Jesus said “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Peace is imparted by the prince of peace. That is, we have to receive it from a source outside ourselves. People around the world are rushing hither and yon in a desperate attempt to find peace. Peace is not found in doing more. Really, It is found in surrender to the one who gives you peace. It is found when we come to the end of ourselves and give ourselves to God.  As someone aptly stated, "Jesus does not just want to be resident in you, He wants to be president in you." Ah, yes! When we relinquish our struggles, and find our rest in Christ, then the winds of the storm may blow, but we find ourselves fixed upon the Rock. It comes through relationship with Christ himself. He is our Peace! "It's not the absence or presence of problems that determines one's peace of mind; it's the absence or presence of God."

A story of His presence

There is no one in history that has been given more names or titles than Jesus Christ. There are over 100 names and titles are given to Jesus in the Bible. And whether He is called "Bright morning star, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Alpha and the Omega, or the Lamb of God", each of these names and titles is rich with meaning. They all say something significant about Jesus. However, there is no name more significant than "Immanuel". This name, which Matthew refers to in his Gospel (Matthew 1:23), was first given to Jesus by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before His birth (Isaiah 7:14). And this very special name, as Matthew tells us, means "God with us." 

Jesus Christ is Immanuel, "God with us," That is the message of the Bible. It is that God is with us…in our misery, in our mess…because that is the only way that life is found. Jesus birth was the incarnation of God on earth, opening the door to new hope and eternal life. His mission was to redeem the earth and save mankind from the fatal results of Adams fall. You and I have inherited a condition called sin. It’s a condition that has caused all kind of bad things to happen throughout history – violence, oppression, hatred, injustice. And I’m not talking only about history. I’m talking about our lives as well. Even today, each of us has probably already done or thought something that we shouldn’t have. We most likely have already sinned today. The story of humanity, a story filled with sin, is also our story.

The Name Immanuel emphasizes the nearness of God. Christ's birth brought the infinite, holy God within reach of finite, sinful man. God came to live with us so we could live with Him. John Wesley died with the words "The best of all is GOD IS WITH US" on his tongue. God is with us through His Spirit, in His Word, by His providential care, and with His divine presence. This is the promise that carried David Livingstone into the heart of darkest Africa and that encouraged and enabled messengers of Christ down through the years." As Matthew Henry said "By the light of nature we see God as a God above us (Ps 19:1-2); by the light of the law we see him as a God against our sinful Nature (Romans 3:19, 20, Jas 2:10, Col 2:14); but by the light of the Gospel we see Him as EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US." May the Truth of IMMANUEL, be an anchor to your soul when winds of trial blow.

A story of His humanity

When Jesus came into the world as a human, He took on the story of humanity. Though He never committed a sin of any kind, Jesus shared in our story by becoming human. By being one of us, He experienced everything we experience, except for the guilt that comes from sin. He experienced unkind people, stress, sadness, oppression, rejection, discrimination, temptation and death – all the things that are part of living in a sin-filled world. Hebrew 4:15 says “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Jesus willingly experienced everything we experience. He went through everything willingly. The story of humanity became Jesus’ story in every way. He stayed long enough to finish the work of redemption through his sacrificial death. C. S. Lewis said “The Son of God became a man that men might become sons of God." God became a man so that you might become God's child.

Many were the accomplishments of Jesus while He was here on the earth. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, comforted the broken hearted, and even raised the dead. These are great things, but the greatest of all things that Jesus was born for was to be the Savior of lost mankind. The story of Bethlehem is the story of humanity. God became human in the appearance of Jesus. Now, He did not stop being God! No, He merely added humanity to His deity. He was still 100% God. Yet, He became 100% man. Before He came to the earth, He was the Commander of the angel hosts. The brightest and most exalted of the sons of the morning heralded His glory at the creation. They veiled their faces before Him as He sat upon His throne. They cast their crowns at His feet, and sang His triumphs as they beheld His greatness. Yet this glorious Being loved the poor sinner, and took upon Him the form of a servant, that He might suffer and die for us. Jesus might have remained at the Father's side, wearing the kingly crown and the royal robe; but for our sake He chose to exchange the riches of Heaven for the poverty of earth. He chose to leave His station of high command, to leave the angels who loved Him. The adoration of the heavenly throng He chose to exchange for mockery and abuse by wicked men. From love to us, He accepted a life of hardship and a death of shame.

A story of His humility

Jesus Christ chose to leave eternity and submit himself to the limitations of time and space. He became ‘obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross'. He knew exactly what would be involved in his earthly mission. He exchanged the perfect harmony of heaven for the turmoil of life on earth, with its pressures and pains, trials and tensions, conflicts and crises. He exchanged being worshipped by angels for being reviled by his enemies. The one by whom ‘all things were created' (Colossians 1:16) had to borrow a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35-41), a donkey to ride into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-40) and a coin to give an illustration (Luke 20:19-26). The one who owned every square inch of Heaven and Earth was so poor that he had ‘nowhere to lay his head' (Luke 9:58). The one who created water as a liquid compound with its molecule made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms (H2O) had to ask someone to give him a drink when he became thirsty ( John 4:1-7). Even in death his body was laid in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:57-61).These are spectacular picture of what it meant for the one who created all time, space and matter to step into their limitations. It was a humiliation without parallel. When Jesus laid aside his heavenly glory and chose to become human, a truth made even more amazing when we realize that he did this ‘for our sake'... Our minds are incapable of grasping the splendor of God's love.

A story of His love

The Bible tells us that God is love. It doesn't say God has love, but God is love. Love is the essence of God's character. It is his very nature. The reason that everything in the universe exists is because God wanted to love it. "The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made." You were created as an object of God's love. He made you in order to love you! His love is the reason you're alive and breathing and reading this Article. Every time your heart beats and every time you take a breath, God is saying, "I love you." You would not exist if God had not wanted you. Although there are accidental parents, there are no accidental babies. The parents may not have planned them, but God did. God loves you so much that he came to earth as a human so you could get to know him and learn to trust him and love him back. Theologians call this the Incarnation. God became one of us, a human being, so we could understand what he is really like.

Of course, we know a little about God by simply observing his creation. For instance, by looking at nature we know that our Creator loves variety: he created an incredibly diverse universe. Think of the limitless array of plants, animals, rock formations, snowflakes, and people. No two human beings, even twins, are exactly alike. God doesn't make clones or copies. Every one of us is an original. By surveying natural phenomena, we also know that God is powerful and organized, and that he loves beauty. He gave us eyes to perceive color and then filled the world with a rainbow of shades. He gave us sensitive ears and then filled the world with rhythms and music. Your capacity for enjoyment is evidence of God's love for you. He could have made the world tasteless, colorless, and silent. The Bible says that God "richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." He didn't have to do it, but he did, because he loves us. Still, until Jesus arrived, our understanding of God's love was limited. So God invaded earth! It was the greatest invasion in history, and nothing has been the same since. God could have chosen thousands of ways to communicate with us, but since he designed us, he knew the best way to communicate with us would be face-to-face.

God has given us, as human beings, the capacity to know him in ways animals can't. He created us in his image, which includes the ability to enjoy a personal relationship with him. Then he took the initiative to send Jesus so we could understand his love and our need for him. The most famous statement in the Bible is Jesus' explanation of why God sent him to earth: "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."

Napoleon Bonaparte said "I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius upon force. Jesus Christ founded His Empire on love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."

This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science and learning, He shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise, than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times.”  -Philip Schaff

Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3, Yet the influence of Christ's 3-year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity. It has been rightly said, that history is His story. Though time has spread twenty one hundred years between the people of this generation and the scene of His birth and crucifixion, yet He still lives! No one else holds or has held the place in the heart of the world which Jesus holds. Others have been as devoutly admired; no other man has been so devoutly loved and worshipped like Jesus Christ. He stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by devils, as the living, personal Christ, the Lord and Savior. You will never understand who Jesus is until you acknowledge and appreciate that he came to save you from your sins. This is why he lived, this is why he died, and this is why he rose from the dead. He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). And he saves all those who trust in him.

A Story of His Salvation

Let me conclude with the good news, and think of what it means for you. The angel told Joseph to name the baby Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins” (Mathew 1:21). And in (Luke 2:11) the angel announced to the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. You will never understand who Jesus is until you realize that he came to save you from your sins. This is why he lived, this is why he died, and this is why he rose from the dead. He came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). And he saves all those who trust in him. If our greatest need had been education, God would have sent a teacher, If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent a banker, If our greatest need had been advice, God would have sent a counselor, If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent a Savior. His name is Jesus. He is Christ the Lord, the Son of God who came from heaven to earth.

When Jesus was born that night there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. It was night, and they were looking after their sheep.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them. And the glory of the Lord shone around them. They were terrified. But the angel said to them. “Fear not! For I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11-12) We learn this from the angel's opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem that God had wonderful news for us that would cause us all to rejoice and celebrate. "I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Christ coming into this world is good news of great Joy for three reasons. It is personal: "I bring YOU." It is positive: "GOOD news."  It is prevailing “of great Joy “And it is universal: "for ALL the people." It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, where you've been, or where you're headed -- this news is for you. It’s the best news in the world: Because God loves you, God is with you and God is for you.

At the very first Christmas an angel announced seven vital truths in the gospel of (Luke 2:11-14). In those statements, we find the five purposes of Christ appearance:  
1. The birth of Christ fades away all fears (Angel said to them, “Fear not”)
2. The birth of Christ brings great joy (“For I bring you good news of great joy”)
3. The birth of Christ breaks down walls of discrimination (“which shall be to all people”)
4. The birth of Christ expresses God’s personal love (“For unto you is born”)
5. The birth of Christ brings salvation (“a Savior who is Christ the Lord”)
6. The birth of Christ brings glory to God (“Glory to God in the highest”)
7. The birth of Christ bring peace and favor (“peace to men on whom his favor rest”)

Christmas, God Incarnate Was Necessary for Our Salvation – You see, it was absolutely necessary that God become a man, for that is the only way Jesus could fulfill His mission, to save us from our sin. We need a Savior. An incarnate angel will not do. A great saint cannot redeem us, for a sacrificial death even by a saint would only pay for his own sin. Only a great Savior, God in human flesh, can save us from our sin, shame, and judgment. And so, we should expect that the Savior of man would be God incarnate. Only Immanuel, God with us, could save us!

 The Bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13) if you want to live a truly blessed life, you can only look at one person in all of history as a model: Jesus. If you put him at the center of your life, your life will be more blessed. Make Jesus the center of your life, and he’ll provide the salvation with security, sanctuary, and stability you need for your life. All that God has for you and me is wrapped up in his Son. No matter what difficulties we face or the decisions we must make, in the end God leads us back to that simple one-word answer: “Jesus.” History Is His Story. It is all about our salvation.