Christmas Mystery

Introduction

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

  • Sort of a time for enjoying and loving family and friends, i.e., those who love us?
  • Thinking about the “baby Jesus” in His cozy little manger in the nice, clean, warm, cozy, stable, since He is the “Greatest Gift of All” that God gave us?
  • Trying our best to be happy, since isn’t that the “Christmas Spirit”?
  • Isn’t it all about God and everyone making much of me?
  • Consider some of the mysteries of Christmas…

The Son of God

The Word of God

  • John speaks of “The Word” who was with God, and is God, who made everything.
    • Hebrew idea of the Word as actively working God’s purposes through the world.
    • Greek idea of the Word as the very meaning and very order that underlies the entire universe.
  • Writer of Hebrews calls Him the “exact representation of his nature” who created and sustains the universe.
  • These are transcendent terms, yet they are how the Bible speaks of the Divine nature of the Son of God.

Son of God? The doctrine of the Trinity

  • The Father, as God in His most basic essence
  • The Word of God, the eternally begotten Son, who is the Father’s self-reflection, so complete He is a person in relationship to the Father, submitted to the Father, doing exactly what the Father wants.
  • The intense love between Father and Son, the Holy Spirit, so intense a Love that He is a person Himself.

First Christmas Mystery: Jesus the Son of God

  • One God, three Persons, not explained as well as we might like.
  • All powerful, no needs at all, perfectly happy, perfect love and harmony.
  • God has a Beloved Son, whom He sent to us on the first Christmas.

The Word became flesh

Historical Jesus who really lived

  • Laid in a borrowed manger? (Buddha was “Prince Siddhartha”!)
  • Shepherds reported the testimony of angels about Him? (Shepherds despised, couldn’t give legal testimony)
  • He was a refugee to Egypt (instead of supernaturally protected)
  • Raised in Nazareth (not noted for godly people)
  • Not understood by his family, rejected by his brothers
  • First miracle: Rescuing an awkward social situation
  • Killed by crucifixion
  • First witnesses to resurrection were women!

He lived life as a Man

  • He obeyed God’s commands as a Man
  • He resisted sin as a Man, enduring temptation to the very end.
    • He felt the full suffering of resisting sin
    • Even to the point of sweating blood

Second Christmas Mystery: Jesus the God-Man

  • He was one Person, both God and Man
  • He stayed fully God, worthy of worship
  • He was completely a Man, inside and out
  • He did not become some sort of hybrid that was neither quite God nor quite Man.
  • This isn’t explained to our satisfaction.

Why did God do this?

God is the Great King, and we are wicked sinners

  • We all fail to live up to what we know is right
  • We can’t even say the problem is that the rules are too hard
  • We even surprise ourselves by some of the wicked things we do

God can not leave sin unpunished.

  • It is God’s honor and glory we have insulted.
  • Love rises in anger to protect what it loves. God would not be a loving God if He were not Just.

It should be Man who satisfies God’s anger

  • Man offended, so Man must make this right.
  • Problem: Perfect obedience would only satisfy what we must still do. It can not make up for our past.

Further problem: Sacrifice must be of infinite worth

  • God’s honor and glory is infinite, and we have insulted Him, so our guilt is boundless.

You have not yet considered the seriousness of your sin. – Anselm

  • But anything created has a finite value; only God Himself has infinite worth
  • Only God Himself could offer satisfaction for His holy anger toward us.
  • But God was under no obligation to do anything at all for Mankind!

Third Christmas Mystery: Jesus came as the Saviour

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is
Christ the Lord. – Luke 2:11

  • The Father gladly gave Jesus as our Saviour (John 3:16)
  • Jesus graciously came to be our Saviour.
  • The Holy Spirit has graciously come to dwell among us.

God saved us for His own purposes

  • The Father has His Children, the Son has His Bride, the Spirit has His City…
  • Because God’s love is rooted in His purposes, we can not mess it up.

Angels worship

  • They are filled with wonder as God’s joy-inflicting news begins to unfold with Christmas.
  • Let us join them in wonder, and worship.

Communion

  • Let us not forget how costly this was…
  • Of all that God created, we alone cost Him anything.
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