Saturday, December 13, 2008

It Just So Happens...

A guest post by my dad, Randy, about the true "Christmas"...

I grew up celebrating Christmas. Every year my parents would help us shop for one another. I loved buying gifts for my family and friends! But to be honest, it wasn’t so much the giving; it was how I wanted them to appreciate how well I had shopped. I wanted them to see how well I knew them in order to be able to buy for them the best gift!

We would all go to church Christmas Eve. My dad would leave early and put out the Santa gifts so they would be there, to our amazement, when we returned home…then we would open most of the gifts, one by one, with lots of thankful hugs, and perhaps save one gift for Christmas morning. All the while munching on holiday cookies and fudge my mom had been storing for months!

I loved the Christmas tree at night. The shiny bulbs, the colorful lights, the mounds of presents under it!

In Messianic Judaism, which to me is a return to the faith of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) and his disciples, what we do or what we don’t do, is solely determined by what God says. Regarding Christmas, he says nothing. There is no Christmas story in the Bible. "What!?" You say, "What about the story in the gospels about Jesus birth and the wise men and the shepherds..."

That event wasn’t on “Christmas”, but it was a holiday, or should I say Holy Day. Long before the time of Jesus’ birth, God had revealed His Holy Days to the brand new nation of Israel. He said they were His days, and He was showing these days to them. (Leviticus 23:2-4,37,44)
It just so happens that each and every one of them points to our Messiah and what he did, and what he will do!

He was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
John 1:14 (“dwelt”; lit. “tabernacled”); Rev. 21:3 (speaking of Christ as the “tabernacle of God”)
For an in depth study on why we believe Yeshua was born on Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot, see : http://bethhamashiach.com/whenwasYeshuaborn.htm

He was circumcised on the Eighth Day.
Luke 2:21

He was crucified on Passover.
Exodus 12:11; 1 Cor. 5:7

He was buried in the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
Exodus 12:15-19; 1 Cor. 5:7,8

He was resurrected on Firstfruits.
Exodus 23:16; 1 Cor. 15:20-23; James 1:18; Rev. 4:4

He baptized the new church on Pentecost.
Mark 1:8; Acts 2:4

He will return as King and resurrect the dead on Feast of Trumpets.
Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16

He will judge the world on the Day of Atonement.
Acts 10:42; 17:31 (“appointed a day”); Rom. 2:16; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Tim. 4:1 & 8; Rev. 19:11

He will live as King on earth beginning at Feast of Tabernacles.
2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:3

And he will create a new heaven and a new earth on the Eighth Day.
Isaiah 65:17;66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1

So, every feast day revealed by God reveals the person and work of His Son, Yeshua the Messiah.

God tells us to remember His holy days and this is why. It just so happens Yeshua was born on one of them, but that was God’s plan all along! So we don’t celebrate Christmas, but we recognize, remember, and celebrate God’s holy days, and it just so happens Yeshua was born on one! A coincidence? You decide!

6 comments:

Pastor Steven said...

Randy,

Very thoughtful post and I do appreciate the Jewish root's of the christian faith. But as believers in Jesus (Yeshua), are we called to keep the old jewish feast days? I know they all piont to Jesus (Yeshua) as Messiah. But in celebrating the "christian" holy days are we not proclaiming the fullness of the truth about God's plan of salvation for all mankind. After all is not holy tradition part of the deposit of faith in the church. Who the Apostle Paul calls ...the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

And is sola scriptura even scriptural? Do not get me wrong I believe we are to follow scripture. But how can some traditions be wrong if they piont people to Jesus (Yeshua).

I'm just asking, after all Christ-mas has been part of Christian tradition for at least 1600 years or more. I'm going to read-up on Jesus (Yeshua) being born on the feast of Tabernacles. That's interesting in light of John 1:14.

Peace,

Steven

Lexie said...

My family isn't religious so for my family Christmas has just been Christmas without a religious overtone or anything.

Miss Serenity said...

Lexie,

Oh, so when you say you're not religious, you mean not Christian? I guess it would make sense then if you were to celebrate Christmas, since you're not exactly celebrating Jesus's birth anyway.

Even though you're not "religeous", have you thought about if celebrating pagan stuff is ok? If you have, what's you're opinion about it? I'm interested to hear!

Serenity

Tim Layne said...

Pastor Steven, if Serenity would allow it I would like to share a thought. Christian tradition is important. At the time of Christ's first advent the Jewish world expected a King-Mashiach to arise from the house of David and overthrow and destroy Rome. We often hear that Israel was off target in their hope for this kind of redemption, however when we stop to reflect on history we see that our King-the Christ Jesus has accomplished nothing short of this task. Every Roman practice and observance has been renamed or transformed to speak of His story. He has defeated Rome. For almost two thousand years He has worn the tradition of the nations like beautiful garments. Like Joseph in Egypt He has brought salvation to the world while remaining concealed behind Pharaoh's garments. Nevertheless we should all look forward to a day when He will be revealed, the King of Israel. Pastor Steven, there is more waiting for people like yourself who are embracing the tradition of the church. Of Passover He said "Do this in remembrance of me." Of Sukkot it is written that all the nations will come to celebrate before the Lord at this time. The tradition of the church is very deep. There is more going on inside of these customs than people know. Ironically I don't think they can be fully understood without having an intimate knowledge of the Torah world that remains at the heart of Christ.Thanks for the open-mindedness

Lexie said...

When I say not religious I mean that my family doesn't attend church on a regular basis due to us having so many busy schedules, but we are by denomination Christian. My opinion on celebrating Christmas is that it is what you make it if you chose to celebrate Christmas as a religious celebration or not thats up to you and your beliefs I personally celebrate christmas as a more secular holiday, but I do give rememerbance and thanks to God even though he wasn't technically born in December.

Pastor Steven said...

Tim,

Thanks for the thoughts, I will say the more I understand the Torah and Jewish thought and teaching at the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, the more His teachings become even clearer, stripped of 1000 or more years of western interpretation. I have a little book by Daniel Fuchs called Israel's Holy Days In Type and Prophecy-Chosen People Ministies. It has been helpful even though they are pre-trib in their understanding of the Fall Holy Days. Is this common among messianic believers?

Peace,

Steven