More Sermons for the Christmas season.
I. The story of Christmas.
1. There was a promise.
The story of Christmas actually begins before the beginning of time. The Bible says that even before the foundation of the world was laid, God planned that His Son would be sent to die for the sins of mankind. From Genesis and all the way through the OT, prophecy after prophecy proclaimed that the Messiah would come, live among us, and die to takes away our sins.
Then there is a silence of 400 years when no prophet from God speaks. But finally the silence is broken to Joseph and Mary separately by Gabriel. The secret was then known to Elizabeth and a few. But then when Jesus was born, the angels telecast the message.
2. There were complications.
They made that journey slowly with no hotels at night. Sleeping out underneath the stars. Once they arrive in Bethlehem there is the complication of finding lodging. There is no room for them in the inn.
Illustration: I heard someone traveling went to a hotel for a room for the night. The manager told him that they were fully booked & there were no rooms available. The man said, “If the Governor of our state requested a room, would you have a place for Him to stay?” The manager replied, “Well, if the Governor needed a room, we’d find one for him.” The man said, “That’s great. I know for a fact that he’s not coming, so I’ll take his room.”
If Mary & Joseph had been influential, perhaps there would have been a room for them, too. But they were just common people, carpenters. Finally they reach their ancestral home and finding all the guest rooms occupied, she probably delivered the child in the living room and put the child in a manger, a trough to hold food to feed animals.
2. There was also a celebration.
Now when babies are born there is celebration, right? On the night Jesus was born, it was a private celebration at first – in the house. They knew something no one else knew. They knew that this baby was God’s own Son, & that His birth was a miracle.
Soon the celebration spreads. Angels announced to shepherds that a Savior had been born, who is Christ the Lord. So they came rushing to see the new baby.
Christmas is the proof that God is in charge of things. No matter how difficult the situation, God’s promised son was conceived and delivered on time. Yes there were complications but there was no delay. Whatever God started he completed, what God promised he fulfilled. Every time we celebrate Christmas it is a sign of God’s faithfulness. We have seen difficulties, we have gone through tough times, sometimes we felt it was all over but God has enabled us to overcome every setback because of his son Jesus Christ.
Well, of the story of Christmas is Promise, complications, & celebrations. However, the world has just caught on the celebrations and given it an entirely different picture to it. Many people gladly celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, only to ignore, shun, and reject Jesus the rest of the year. They don’t mind celebrating the birth of a baby, but they don’t want to hear about the Lord of lords. They sing of His nativity but brazenly reject His authority. They adore Him as an infant but will not pay homage to Him as the God. Consequently the world ignores the core of all Christmas truth. And instead of honoring Jesus at Christmas, they are actually mocking Him.
The enemy must love the way the world celebrates Christmas. If you truly see the Bible, Christmas is not about the Savior’s infancy; it is about His deity. At Christmas most of the world sees Jesus as a baby in a manger—nothing more. Jesus born on Christmas is bigger than that.
What ought to concern us is that many believers fall into the same myopic trap around this time of year. Caught up in the trappings and traditions of the season, they quickly lose sight of why we’re celebrating Christ’s birth in the first place. In simple terms, their emphasis on Christ’s infancy blinds them to His supremacy.
The writer of Hebrews opens his epistle with a vivid reminder of the One who took on flesh for our sake. Hebrews 1:1-3 1In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
The writer of Hebrews begins His epistle by describing the incarnation, birth of Jesus as the supreme revelation of God. The writer of Hebrews points out the incarnation truth in 4 points.
II. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
1. Christ is the heir of all things.
The first aspect of Jesus Christ’s preeminence concerns His inheritance: Hebrews 1:2 …but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things. That states God has planned for Jesus ultimately to inherit absolutely everything.
It adheres to Jewish inheritance laws that said the firstborn child received the wealth of the family’s estate. Because Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, He is logically the firstborn Son. Therefore, Christ is the heir of all that God has. Everything in the created order, whether the material or spiritual world—everything God has ever created—belongs to Jesus Christ.
It’s amazing to think that a baby boy who grew up to be a Galilean carpenter, crucified on a cross outside Jerusalem, is actually the heir to the universe. Admittedly, when Jesus was on earth He owned nothing. One thing He did own was His cloak, and the Roman soldiers gambled for ownership of that while He was on the cross. He was even buried in a borrowed grave. But some day, all that exists will belong to Christ, and everyone – people, angels, and all powers in the universe – will bow before Him. Philippians 2:10 KJV That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.
It’s also incredible to realize that we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be joint heirs with Christ: Romans 8:16-17 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
If you know Christ, you are a part of His bride, the church, and He, the Bridegroom, allows you to share His inheritance. And someday you will see Him return as King of kings and Lord of lords to make final claim of His inheritance and exercise sovereign, everlasting rule over all that exists. Therefore, once you say Jesus is Lord, you also say He is the heir of all things.
2. Christ is the creator of all things.
The second aspect of Christ’s preeminence listed in Hebrews 1 is His power in creation: Hebrews 1:2 …but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
That statement is perfectly consistent with John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Colossians 1:16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Jesus created everything, both the material and nonmaterial parts of the universe. And His creatorship is a characteristic of our Lord—second only to His sinlessness—that really sets Him apart from us.
The Greek word made the universe does not mean the material world but “the ages.” Christ created not only the physical earth, but also time, space, energy, and every variety of matter. He effortlessly created the entire universe and finished it as something good. For that reason, the creation, which was marred by humanity’s sin, longs to be restored to what it was originally and one day Christ will create a new and perfect heaven and earth.
3. Christ is the radiance of God’s glory.
Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory. “Radiance” literally means “to send forth light.” It indicates that Jesus is the manifestation of God to us. Just as the sun’s rays illuminate and warm the earth, Christ is God’s glorious light that shines into the hearts of people. And as the sun cannot be separated from its brightness, so God cannot be separated from the glory of Christ.
Jesus Christ is the radiance of who God is, and He affirmed that fact during His earthly ministry: John 8:12 I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Christ can transmit that light into our lives so that we can radiate the glory of God to others. God sent His glorious light, in the person of Jesus Christ, into a morally dark world to call sinners to Himself. No one would ever be able to see or enjoy God’s true radiance if it weren’t for His Son and those who know Him.
It is truly a blessing to know that Jesus Christ can come into your life and give you the spiritual light to see and believe God. Jesus’ brightness points you to salvation, which in turn results in purpose, peace, joy, and genuine fellowship for all eternity.
4. Christ is the essence of God.
Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
Jesus is the exact representation of God. Jesus possesses the essential nature or being of God the Father. That is, He has all the attributes that are indispensable to who and what God is, such as immutability (unchangeableness), omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. He is God.
The apostle Paul teaches us basically the same truth in Colossians 1:15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
In Greek word “image” is translated eikon, from which we get the English term icon, meaning a precise copy or reproduction. But both verses communicate the same truth. Christ possesses the essential nature of God and manifests the attributes of God. In His being, Jesus is what God is, and in His person He displays God to everyone who sees Him.
This is the Christ of Christmas, the King of kings and Lord of Lord’s, God himself in human flesh. If you look beyond all the celebrations around Christmas time and the boy in the manger, we must understand that this boy grew and he lead a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again from the grave. He ascended to heaven and is seated in the right side of God the Father. The personal knowledge of Jesus being God and having a relationship with him makes Christmas meaningful.
Conclusion: This Christmas I urge you to look beyond the manger scene and see him as God. Many of you see him already as God, but do you truly believe he can help you. Mary and Joseph had complications, this God helped them through and the promise was delivered on time. You may have complications or problems in life this God can lead you through. But more than anything it is important to understand this Jesus of Christmas as the Lord of your life.
For those who hear me for the first time, you can have a personal relationship with Jesus if accept him as Lord and savior of your life. Say the prayer with me. Let’s Pray.
More Sermons for the Christmas season.