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Christmas Story

http://www.chinese.cn 17:15, December 20, 2010 Confucius Institute Online

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Brief

As everyone knows, Jesus Christ is the founder or central figure of Christianity. And December 25 is a Christian holiday to commemorate Jesus. Romans also regarded this day as a division point in the human time course in order to commemorate the birthday of Jesus. This way of counting the years is just the AD chronology which is still used around the world up to date: before the birth of Jesus is known as BC and after the birth of Jesus is called AD.

"Christmas", as the name suggests, refers to the birthday of the saint "Christ". The word "Christ" comes from Greek, meaning "the anointed"-a person God separated for special purposes. "Messiah" in Hebrew has the same meaning as "Christ". The word "Messiah" comes from the prophecy of an ancient prophet. Jews in the 1st century had been waiting for the arrival of "Messiah" God promised to grant them to bring them a new world.

Record in the Bible

The most authoritative record about the birth of Jesus is the Bible, especially in the "Gospel of Luke" and the "Gospel of Matthew".

According to the record of Luke, Augustus, King of Rome at that time, ordered a census, so Mary and her husband Joseph left their home in Nazareth and went to Joseph's ancestral home Bethlehem to register. As hostels there were fully occupied, Mary and Joseph had to spend the night in a horse shed. Mary gave birth to Jesus that night. Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is just the city where Joseph' ancestor David lived. This exactly proves the prophecy in the Book of Isaiah and the visits by an angel and a herdsman that night also confirmed this to Mary.

The genealogy of Jesus that Matthew narrated lasted until Jesus was born by a virgin. Then it recorded the arrival of three wise men from the Orient (probably China). These men, also called by some people three doctors from the Orient, came soon after Jesus was born in Bethlehem. They previously went to Jerusalem to report to Jewish King Herod that they had seen a bright star and that was the omen of the birth of a new king. They arrived at Bethlehem finally after many inquiries, found Mary and Jesus and presented the three precious gifts of "gold, frankincense and myrrh" to Jesus.

Postscript

After Jesus was grown up, he claimed he was the king-Messiah of Jews. Finally he provoked a controversy because of his assertion that he was Christ. He was sentenced in a religious trial and crucified. Christians believe Jesus resurrected three days after death and "Easter" is the Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus after death.

Jesus says his birth is the most important "gospel" of human beings because God himself comes to the world from heaven. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, human beings have the expectation of going to heaven after death.