Birthdays!! Everyone knows their birthday, that special day when we were born. Parents know, Grandparents and Great-Grandparents know, family and friends come and celebrate with us that special day---our birthday! How much more does it stand to reason that God knows when his Son was born and that date has been made known to the entire world. Some skeptics and pundits, even in church circles, try to dissuade the specific birthday of Jesus and even point to another time of the year. For the last 1700 years the 25th day of December has been celebrated as the birth of Jesus and today billions of people will celebrate and honor the Dec 25 as the day the Son of God was born and this is not by any accident or miss-guided information.
A simple Bible text in Luke 2.21 will point to the 25th: “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.” The significance of this statement is truly profound and precisely informative if one only considers the division of time and how this division came to be. In the 6th century, a man named Dionysius Exiguus, created the division of time into BC and AD. Simply stated, BC is before Jesus Christ is born and AD (Latin for Anno Domini—“In the year of our Lord”) is after Jesus Christ is born. For Mr. Exiguus, the 1st day of the 1st month of 1 AD was the day in Luke 2.21. This is the day Jesus was “officially” declared Jesus—the day of circumcision. Under the Jewish law, the babe could only be recognized with his Jewish name on the day of circumcision. Legally under OT law, the babe became Jesus “on the eighth day” as Luke (the doctor) records. It follows then, that this day is our Jan 1 or New Year’s Day and the entire world is in agreement with New Year’s Day. The first day of the first month of the first New Year of Christ’s existence was 1/1/1 AD and all events forward are designated AD. All events prior to 1/1/1 AD are designated BC. Now, count 8 days back from 1/1/1 AD and the date is 12/25/1 BC. Jesus was born on 25 December 1 BC. Scholars try to point to Christ’s birthday from 4 BC-8 BC but use a secular dating reference of Herod to arrive at their conclusion. They ignore the Luke 2 reference and the world-wide use, acceptance, and basis of BC/AD.
Another way to validate the 25th of December is to look historically at the Feast of Annunciation celebrated by many millions on March 25 for the past several hundred years. This date was established centuries ago as the date of the Angel, Gabriel, visiting Mary in Luke 1.26-38. Count 9 months from this date and December 25 becomes the day of birth. (As a side note, it is also held by many that the actual day of the cross fell on March 25, 33 AD.) The date of March 25 was actually calculated before the Dec 25 date and it is believed that Exiguus used that date in his determination of BC/AD. Over 400 years would pass before BC/AD became widely used and accepted. Unfortunately, today skeptics and pundits are attempting to change BC/AD to BCE/CE (Common Era), attempting to remove “Christ” from time designation. Thankfully, Christ Jesus, our Lord, can never be removed from time. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last…..He is the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star! Let us celebrate December 25 as the birthday of our Savior, Priest and King. Let us celebrate with gifts of Peace, Honor, and Love—and Glory to God in the highest! 12/16 Scott Johnson, El Dorado, Arkansas