3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: Everywhere you look there are signs telling you it's the Christmas season. There were also some signs surrounding the first Christmas. Let's take a look at some of those and see what significance they hold for us.

CHRISTMAS SIGNS

Everywhere you look there are signs telling you it's the Christmas season. It could be a literal sign like one promoting a sale or a show, or simply an indicator like the decorations or music. Whether it's as big as a billboard or as small as a flyer, the signs about Christmas are everywhere. And whether it's an advertisement, office party, a show or event; it's quite obvious that Christmas is upon us. There were also some signs surrounding the first Christmas. Let's take a look at some of those and see what significance they hold for us.

1) Prophecy.

God was in the business of providing signs from the very beginning. After the flood, when the rainbow appeared, he told Noah it was a sign that he would not flood the entire earth like that again. Whenever we see a rainbow, that sign serves as a reminder of that promise. God continued to provide signs.

Through Moses and Aaron God gave signs to Pharaoh. God provided multiple signs for the Israelites throughout their wanderings in the desert. He gave the Prophets (later the Apostles) the ability to perform signs and wonders. Since God is in the business of giving people signs, it makes sense that he would give a sign when it came to the most important birth in human history.

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."

A prophecy is a foretelling of a future event. A Prophet was given insight regarding something previously unknown. The fulfillment of prophecy would be legitimate proof and a sign that God could be believed and trusted. Sometimes a prophecy was fulfilled soon after, sometimes the fulfillment was hundreds of years away, like this one. This prophecy was written 700 years before it was fulfilled.

When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant, he thought she cheated on him. But an angel appeared to him in a dream, encouraging him that Mary had done no wrong. Then Matthew includes the prophecy from Isaiah as confirmation.

Matt. 1:21-23, " 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.” Joseph and Mary received signs that confirmed what they were told.

There are other prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus. When the Magi had visited King Herod, they told him they were there to search for the newborn king of the Jews. This disturbed Herod so he called together the chief priests and teachers of the law, asking them where the Christ was to be born.

Matt. 2:5-6, “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”

This prophecy is from Micah 5:2. Interestingly, there's an added line at the end that reads, "whose origins are from old, from ancient times". Many translations have, 'from eternity' or 'from everlasting'. This doesn't make sense; how can there be someone coming in the future who has ancient origins? It makes sense when you're talking about Jesus. His birth was not his beginning. It was his beginning in human form, but Jesus existed long prior-from the very beginning.

John 1:1-2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." Okay, but how do we know that Jesus is the Word? Vs. 14, "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." More legitimate signs that Jesus is the Christ.

One more birth prophecy. Herod told the Wise Men to come back and tell him where Jesus was so he could go and worship him. But that was a trick and the Wise Men were told in a dream to not go back to Herod, so they left another way. When Herod found this out he was furious and ordered that all males two years old and under be killed, hoping to get rid of this 'rival king'.

But before this happened, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt and stay there until he was told to come back.

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