Summary: God’s plan to send His Son Jesus as a human was and is His only strategy to save this world. Christmas message.
A Strange Plan for an Estranged World
Intro: Sing “Strange Way to Save the World”
Prop: God’s plan to send His Son Jesus as a human was and is His only strategy to save this world.
TS: Let’s look at a few details concerning God’s plan to save the world.
I. The Need for Help… Darkness
-Isaiah 9:2 refers to the time before the Messiah would come and says that the people were living in darkness. Darkness can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. In the Bible darkness is generally symbolic of evil, or at least the absence of God’s light.
-Before creation there was darkness. It wasn’t good or evil, just dark and empty. But God made light a major part of His creation, and the first humans, Adam and Eve, enjoyed that light … for awhile. They disobeyed God and darkness started to creep into the world. Before long humans were hating one other, abusing one another, and even killing one another. Man needed help, but most would not receive it, and all but 8 people died in a massive worldwide flood. Darkness kept making a comeback and has been welcomed by many for thousands of years. Help was needed!
-Well, darkness can describe our mood or emotions sometimes if we are depressed, gloomy, or just plain grouchy! Darkness can describe the life of a person who is short on hope. They have no reason to be happy or cause for celebration because life seems to be a burden to bear. Some people have been through so much pain and disappointment they don’t think they will see any improvement.
-Darkness can also describe the character of a person. Jesus said in John 3:19 that men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Darkness gives you a place to hide. John 3:20 “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
-However, as we will see in the next point, exposure to light is exactly what we need.
II. The Plan for Rescue… Light
-God did not keep His plan for rescue a secret. In fact He had been telling people His plan for hundreds of years, preparing them for the implementation phase. Several of these hints were written down in the Jewish Bible, the Torah. Let’s take a look at some of them.
-First, we can go clear back to the first book of the Bible and find a few references to God’s plan:
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
Genesis 22:18 God told Abraham, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.
-So we start to get the idea that God has a plan. Help is on the way. Later we see more details. God Himself would come to earth, and this is how it would happen:
BE BORN AS A HUMAN MALE
Isaiah 9:6-7  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. ... 700 B.C.
Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
John 1:1-3, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
BORN OF A VIRGIN
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 700 B.C.
Mattthew 1:20-23  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."