Jesus exact day of birth have been a mystery and would likely remain so.
For the people in the world Christmas rhymes with the birth of Jesus. And every year during Christmas, you have lots of evangelistic minded people who will do all they can to reach out to the community. Indeed it’s one of those seasons when religious activities are more tolerated even in restricted country like China.
One of the funniest Christmas stories I have seen have to be that particular episode done by Mr. Bean.That scene where Mr. Bean went shopping for Christmas decorations at a shopping mall and saw a miniature mock-up display of baby Jesus born in the manger with Joseph and Mary by His side – Mr. Bean starts playing with all the set-ups and it was hilarious, an instant classic comedy.
However for those who are more observant, you realized another figure of attention in that season – Santa Claus. That fat old man dressed in red who goes ‘ho ho ho….’ So arise the discussion and even confusion – Christians activities during Christmas focus on the birth of Jesus, while you see Santa Claus pictured with Coca-Cola, Harrods and even Colonel Sanders dressed up as Santa so that fried chicken would be the alternative to roast turkey. KFC made the smart move to increase sales.
So then come the deeper debate – was Jesus really born on Christmas day?
For all the historical records available and all the scholarly minds put together, until today the exact day and time of Jesus’ birth still remains a mystery. People are still curious about exactly when Jesus was born.
As follows is my personal conviction and faith in God –
God Almighty, our Father in heaven have intended and willed in such a way that the birth of Jesus will forever remain a mystery for us human! At least for our age and generation. Means to say, even from now till the day Jesus returns, no matter how much and how far anyone will try to research into the exact birth day of Jesus we will not be able to draw a firm conclusion.
I believe the birth of Jesus will be one of those mysteries, as like the return of Jesus, no one will know the date and time except our Father in heaven.
If we were to consider the way God deal with us people, God does not gives knowledge just for the sake of making us know something. There are people who habitually pursue for knowledge after knowledge and their whole life and society are flooded and heavy-laden with too much information so much so that their own society are drowning in their own relentless and aimless pursue of knowledge and information.
Japan is one country where the averages person are in pursue of excessive information. The next time you buy a Japanese product, remember that super extra thick menu that comes with it – Because as according to the excessive demand for knowledge and information that’s why Japanese product always comes with excessively too much information. Excessive information with no clear sensible purpose and intention will always result in confusion, negativity and mental blockage. It is no surprise Japan have lost her cutting edge in innovation because she is stuck with her own stubborn excessive demand for too much details.
Likewise, if Christians believers relentlessly dig into too much details which God have not intended us to do so, we get stuck in our own mental blockage and will not grow into maturity and deeper relationship with our Father.
So coming back to the way God deal with people, we know from the writing of the prophets and the Apostles that there are various mysteries of God which we need the revelation of the Holy Spirit to understand. And if God does not reveal it, we should just let it be. We should concentrate instead on those things God have revealed for our learning and progress.
So why do I still believe God would not reveal to us the exact date and time of Jesus’ birth for now?
The answer is in the purpose and planning of God for us in this generation.
We are still living in the age and timing of God that mankind are invited to receive the salvation and forgiveness of God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This salvation plan of God is still in process and based on this planning of God the most important key knowledge we need about Jesus is –
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
In our generation we should have understood what the Bible meant when it says ‘gave his only Son’. As according to the will of God, Jesus was made a living sacrifice on the cross to redeem us from our sin.
Jesus died for our sin that we may live for God.
When Jesus died on the cross it was an open public event witnessed by all the people who were present in Jerusalem at that moment. The Romans saw it, the Jews witnessed, all the Gentiles who were there will not deny they saw Jesus hang on the cross. The land which received the blood of Jesus remembers forever as long as the Earth remains. Pilate and the chief priests were accountable to the death of Jesus as rulers of the land.
Josephus had it on record.
By comparison the birth of Jesus was low profile, away from public witness. Although after Jesus’ birth, shepherd came to look for him, wise men came looking for him.
It is the will of God for us to fully understand the death of Jesus on the cross; it is a fundamental to our salvation in God. The death and resurrection of Jesus is key to our eternal life.
The Apostle Paul who was once an exceptional scholar trained by Gamaliel finally recognized how great and how important the death of Jesus –
If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:4-11)
So if we were to consider the entire salvation planning of God for us mankind, what we should know about Jesus death is much more important that His birth day.
Therefore Easter has a lot more importance as a personal choice; it’s a period of time where people are called to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In recognition of death, we learn to numbers our days and make our choices.
In recognition of death, we learn to fear God who has the true power over life and death.
In recognition of death, we learn our directions and where we are heading to in life is more important that our starting point.
In recognition of death, we learn we all may be born un-equal but everyone has the same opportunity and condition to receive the salvation of God.
As we recognized the death of Jesus we bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus.
In acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus we see our hope in God.
In acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus we have no fear of death.
In acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus we turn away from sin and look toward the blessing of God.
In acknowledging the resurrection of Jesus we live in newness of life as according to the will of God.
Therefore as according to the will of God, in our generation and in our times, our knowledge and understanding of the death of Jesus is far more important that His birth. Thus the Spirit of God have also revealed to our hearts all the blessing and hope in the death and resurrection of Jesus.
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