Bury St Edmunds
Just a thought
In our society there are two great religious holidays - Christmas and Easter. For most of us Christmas is the bigger and greater season of the year. It's the time of year when we gather with family and friends, decorate the tree, and exchange gifts. Christmas is the climax of the whole year.
Easter, for many people is just another long weekend, another chance to get away for a few days. Well I suggest we have got our thinking badly mixed up. If Easter had not happened, Christmas would have no meaning. If the tomb is not empty, the cradle makes no difference. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then He really is just a misguided Jewish rabbi with delusions of grandeur. If Easter is not true, then Christmas is just a story of an obscure baby born in an out-of-the-way village in a forgotten land 2000 years ago.
It is Easter that gives Christmas its meaning. In all the New Testament no major doctrinal point is ever built upon the virgin birth of Christ. Yes it's true and certainly happened, but it's hardly discussed or mentioned. In fact, two gospels don't even say anything about it.
But the resurrection is a different story. In every part of the New Testament, it comes up again and again. When the first Christians preached, they didn't mention Bethlehem; they talked about the crucifixion and the empty tomb. They never got over the fact that on Easter Sunday when they went to the tomb, but Jesus was risen.
‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ Luke 24:7