Title: The Day After Christmas
Text: Luke 2:21-24
- Today is boxing day, the day after Christmas.
- Many things happen on Boxing Day that don’t happen on Christmas day.
- For example there are some great sales in stores on boxing day.
- The mail boxes are full of flyers advertising the big sale of the year.
- Stores are trying to get rid of Christmas decorations and lights and they go for unbelievable prices.
- Another example is Christmas starts all over again for some families.
- My wife’s side of the family will be coming over to have Christmas gathering. It will be a time of more food, more presents and more people.
- What about the children? What are the children doing the day after Christmas?
- I can only give you my experience from last night.
- After all the presents were opened and we had a fun day of playing with all the toys, did something funny take place.
- Last night both my daughters were asleep in bed, and I went in to check on them.
- I found Jocelyn under her blankets but something was on her.
- She had received a hat and mitt set of Dora and she wore it to bed.
- Sweat coming off her body, but she would not remove the hat and mitt set.
- All I saw from Mackenzie was a big white cat coming from her pillow, face buried in the cat. Of coarse I got pictures of the whole thing.
- These are just some of the things that happen the day after Christmas.
- There is a movie called the day after tomorrow, which is about how the world entering a new ice age so it can repair all that pollution has done to the world and start off fresh.
- The movie shows after the ice age a new world of fresh air and a clean environment.
- Well Jesus did the same thing by coming into the world over 2000 years ago.
- He came to align the world with Himself and make it our lives purposeful, peaceful, and joyful.
- Our world will never be the same again because of Christ did. Being born of a virgin, and dying on the Cross.
- It has the power to change people forever.
- So have you ever wondered what happened after Jesus was born?
- 3 things took place that I want to share with you this morning, that will bring meaning to the day after Christmas.
Point 1: Circumcision
- Jesus was circumcised eight days after birth.
- Circumcision symbolized the Jews separation from Gentiles and their unique relationship with God.
Lev 12:3 says, “On the eighth day the boy’s foreskin must be circumcised”
- It was a covenant with God of separation.
- Circumcision today means giving up our sinful lifestyle.
- Circumcision does not bring us closer to God today, but rather having our hearts circumcised according to Rom 2:29 and I Cor 7:19 and they both read:
Rom 2:28-29 says, “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”
I Cor 7:19 says, “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.”
- When we covenant with God, the blessings we receive outweigh what we must give up.
- That is small in comparison to what we are going to inherit both now and in eternity.
- Circumcision was a setting apart.
- So Jesus was circumcised to keep the law, but also to be our example of being separate from the world and living for God by faith.
- Nailing our sinful nature on the cross is what circumcising your heart is all about.
- Submitting to Christ in faith through obedience to His word.
- The next thing that happened the day after Christmas was.......
Point 2: Redemption Of First Born
- Jesus was presented to God one month after His birth.
- The ceremony included buying back, or redeeming the child from God through an offering. This way, the parents acknowledged that the child belonged to God.
- God is the only one who has the power to give life.
(Read Exodus 13:2 and 11-16)
- What does it mean to buy back every firstborn son?
- It was to serve as a reminder of what God had done in Egypt, He spared the oldest son of every house marked with the blood on the doorframe.
- God wanted the Israelites to buy their sons back from Him. This ritual served 3 main purposes:
A. God spared their sons from death and freed them from slavery.
- death today is hell, and slavery means being a slave to sin and bondage.
- God has spared us from that and has set us free because of Jesus blood sprinkled on our lives.
- By accepting Jesus into our hearts we have smeared the blood of Jesus over the doorframes of our hearts. Thank you Jesus!
B. It shows God’s respect toward mankind.
- satan wants death and destruction, God wants blessing and fruitfulness.
- Satan has no regard for human life, God respects human life, and every human is valuable. (Read Psalm 139)
C. It points to Jesus buying us back by paying the penalty for our sin once and for all.
- So Jesus is fulfilling all of this that is recorded in Exodus 13.
- It’s a sign that Jesus will rescue all people who put there faith and trust in Him from slavery, death and destruction to blessing and eternal life.
- Jesus through His death bought us and redeemed us. Once we were His in the garden of Eden, then sin entered the world and we were lost, now God has bought us back through the Cross.
- This ritual was a symbol to us of what was to come from Jesus Himself.
- The last thing that happened the day after Christmas was.....
Point 3: Purification Of The Mother
- For 40 days after the birth of a son and 80 days after the birth of a daughter, the mother was ceremonially unclean and could not enter the Temple.
- At the end of her time of separation, the parents were to bring a lamb for the burnt offering and a dove or pigeon for a sin offering.
- The priest would sacrifice these animals and declare her to be clean.
- Now unclean does not mean sinful or dirty.
- So what does it mean? The phrase unclean is a distinction between God’s worship and the popular pagan worship of the day.
- Canaanite religions incorporated prostitution and immoral rites as the people begged their gods to make crops, herds and families increase.
- By keeping worship and marital relations separate, God helped the Israelites avoid confusion with pagan rites.
- The Israelites worshiped God as their loving Creator and Provider, and they thanked Him for bountiful crops, martial love, and safe childbirth.
- This purification of the mother was a ceremony of thanksgiving, because God is good, not because childbirth is sinful.
- Therefore unclean does not mean sinful or bad, but rather the purifciation process is being thankful and honoring God for all that He has done for the person.
- It was God’s design to bring worship from His people, to show thankfulness and to show that God is in control of everything.
- Today we don’t have a purification process, but we do have prayer.
- And the question is are we thankful, do we come to our faithful high Priest and present to Him, worship from us of thanksgiving and repentance.
- Repentance in this manner is telling God I need you and you are in control.
- I close with this story, very interesting:
If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. There would be:
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
52 would be female
48 would be male
70 would be non white
30 would be white
70 would be non Christian
30 would be Christian
89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual
6 people would possess 50 percent of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States
80 would live in substandard housing 70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education
1 would own a computer.
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. The following is also something to ponder:
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet,and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the worlds wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.