Summary: How much time do we really spend considering the reasons why Jesus was born—the reasons why God came down—why God had to become a man?
And God Came Down
Christmas Eve 2000
Preached by Pastor Tony Miano
Pico Canyon Community Church
December 24, 2000
Introduction: Christmas—it’s a time for celebration. It’s a time for family and friends. It’s a time for the community to draw closer together. Christmas is so many things. But what is it to you this morning?
It’s easy, sometimes, to miss the spirit of Christmas because we spend so much time chasing after it. Have you noticed that the Christmas decorations go up in the stores and at the mall a little sooner every year? It used to be that the public decorations wouldn’t begin until after Thanksgiving. Now, they begin to go up before Halloween.
Why is that? Is it because the world gets excited about celebrating the birth of a humble child a little earlier each year? Or is it because we all need a little more time each year to get all of our shopping done, to make sure Sam next door hasn’t beaten you to the annual Wal-Mart, ten weeks before Christmas, house and lawn decoration sale. Remember last year he ruined your plans by being the first on the block to have the mother of all lawn decorations in his front yard—a life size Santa’s sleigh being pulled by the space shuttle (also life size). He got his though when he fired the shuttle’s engine and burnt down his garage.
It’s very easy for all of us to get caught up in the trappings of Christmas. I know that’s not an original message and I’m sure there are pastors all over the country this morning who are stressing this very point in their sermons.
This morning we’re going to read Luke’s account of the Christmas story if, for no other reason, it is a beautifully written story. As we read the Christmas story, as we remember the birth of Jesus, I think more often than not we focus on the fact that Jesus was born. We focus on the facts surrounding His birth. But how much time do we really spend considering the reasons why Jesus was born—the reasons why God came down—why God had to become a man.
I thought we should do just that this morning. I want you to put the driving you’re going to do over the next couple of days in the back of your mind. I want you to put the busyness you are anticipating over the next couple of days in the back of your mind. Let’s take a little time this morning and consider why God came down. In the process, there may be some of you here this morning that may receive the greatest Christmas gift ever.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke, chapter 2. We’re going to be reading verses 1-20.
There are several reasons why the Christmas story had to take place just the way it did. One reason is that the Old Testament Scriptures foretold of Jesus’ birth hundreds of years before it happened.
For instance, in Isaiah 7:13-14 we read, “Then He said, ‘Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah also wrote in 9:6, For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
Even the place where Jesus would be born is foretold in the Old Testament. Micah 5:2-4 says, “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, because at the time He will be great to the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace.”
Maybe you’re here this morning and wonder if Isaiah and Micah’s predictions about Christ’s birth were just lucky guesses. Well, consider this. Jesus fulfilled over 40 prophecies or predictions about the life of Christ, from where and when he would be born to how He would die and rise again, down to the smallest detail. Mathematicians, who have the time to calculate such things, say the chances of this happening are astronomical. In fact, the numbers indicate that the chance of Jesus fulfilling even eight of these prophesies is one in one hundred million billion.