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.
- They are filled with wonder as God’s joy-inflicting news begins to unfold with Christmas.
- Let us join them in wonder, and worship.
- Let us not forget how costly this was…
- Of all that God created, we alone cost Him anything.