Summary: This sermon looks at four realities of Christmas. 1. God came to EARTH 2. God became FLESH AND BLOOD 3. Jesus Came With A PURPOSE 4. Jesus Is LORD
A Fantastic Reality
Over the past few weeks we have been looking at the Christmas story from various angles. We looked at the importance of the virgin birth. Then we looked at the response of Mary when she was given the news that she would have a son – even though she was a virgin. We then looked at how a group of unlikely witnesses were present at the birth of Jesus. Those witnesses were the shepherds. Today I would like us to look at the Christmas story from an unlikely passage of scripture. It is found in the book of Philippians. Please follow along with me as I read:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 (NASB)
This doesn’t sound much like a Christmas story – but it is. It is the story of the plan and purpose of Christ coming to earth in the form of a baby.
What is so special about Christmas? Christmas is the centerpiece of our history. Even our calendar is dated from the reference point of Jesus Christ. God split history with the event of Christmas. Everything is either A.D. or B.C.
What is so special about Christmas? I think Philippians 2 answers it. We have here the greatest explanation in the Bible of who Jesus Christ is and what he came to do. This is the foundation of all that we believe. It is a fantastic reality! What is that reality – it is based on four things:
1. God came to EARTH
By this statement I don’t mean that God looked down from heaven and could see all the people of the earth hurrying and scurrying here and there. No – God actually set his foot on the earth.
When the allies landed on Normandy on D-Day – that was big news. But that is nothing compared to the news that God invaded earth. It was big news when man landed on the moon and walked there. But it's bigger news that God landed on the earth and he walked here too. You see – Jesus Christ is God Himself and it was God that came to earth. Look at what it says in Philippians again:
“He existed in the form of God……” Philippians 2:6 (NASB)
There are people who would say that Jesus was a great man – even a great prophet. There's only one problem with that – Jesus never claimed to be a great prophet or a great man. He claimed to be God.
How else can you explain the statements that he made when he said:
"He who hates Me - hates My Father also.” John 15:23
Or what about:
"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." John 14:7
"I and the Father are one." John 10:30
But here is a fantastic fact – Jesus didn't start at the stable. He's existed even before the dawn of creation. Theologians call it the pre-existence of Christ. The Bible says:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Jesus simply said it this way:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."
God came to earth. But that’s not all:
2. God became FLESH AND BLOOD
If you were God and were going to come to earth – how would you do it? Would you become human? Would you become as a baby? That’s how God did it. Look at Philippians again:
“(He) emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7
The reality of Christmas was that Jesus Christ was a real man, flesh and blood, bones and hair. He was a real person. He was not a myth – he was not a fable – it’s more than a nice story. The reality is that God came to earth and God became human. In the gospel of John it says: