Summary: To present profound truths revolving around the birth of the Saviour
The significance of Christmas is intertwined with several profound truths. By virtue of this sermon, I intend to place before my Church some of them, which have deeply touched my heart…
1.FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECIES:
On the birth of Christ, hinged the salvation of mankind. Period. The ‘Redeemer’ God, donning the robe of flesh, was coming for a touchdown, on His sin-marred planet, to the very place where he had given his creation a perfect start. His birth was prophesied hundreds of years back, lest any (there is no dearth of cynical rationalists in this world) attribute his birth and life to sheer coincidence. Of many prophecies of Old Testament, which clearly foretell about the life and times of the Messiah, to highlight a few Christmas related prophecies …if Isaiah 7:14, talks about his ‘virgin birth’, then Micah 5:2 speaks about his place of birth…Bethlehem. Why Bethlehem? Where else, the ‘Bread of life’ (John 6:58) could be born other than the place known as ‘Bread’-Bethlehem in Jewish language means ‘Bread’. Prophecy, as one Bible scholar correctly said “ is nothing but History written in advance”.
2. SECOND ADVENT :
Yet another significance of fulfillment of prophecies is that it makes us take the only remaining unfulfilled prophecy of God…Christ’s II Coming… seriously. Even in the human realm, if we have a friend who time and again sticks to his word, won’t we take his other promises’ seriously because of his spotless track record of keeping up his word, always? Similarly, if our Lord has time and again, kept up His Word, won’t He keep His word regarding His II Coming too?
With signs such as civil wars (Egypt, Libya etc), earthquakes, Tsunami of his II Coming abounding (Luke 21:10,11, 25b) this Christmas season, we need to ask ourselves seriously these questions’ ‘Am I ready for my Lord’s II Coming? Am I alerting others too? Would I hear the comforting words of His on seeing Him? “Well done, my faithful servant?”
3.ORCHESTRATION OF WORLD EVENT(S'):
Proverbs 21:1 says emphatically “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.” How true! In order the prophecy of His birth at Bethlehem be fulfilled, He directed the Roman Emperor to issue a decree on census, which led to the events described in Luke 2:1-7, culminating in the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem.
Now, this is no isolated instance in the Bible of a great God moving the spirit of an Emperor to fulfill His prophecies. In order we get a clearer picture on the ‘hold of God on World events’ let’s also consider what is described in Ezra 1:1, which reads thus…
‘In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing’
Now let’s pause for a moment and let the enormity of its significance, sink in. This great God who controls World events, in whose hands the great Emperors, Kings, Presidents are no more than puppets, desires a…personal, living, intimate relationship with lowly and ordinary people like you and me. His humility leaves me stunned, inspiring me to respond to His love! Doesn’t it evoke the same reaction in you?
4. HISTORICAL MOMENT (The BC and AD Factor):
Universally all the Nations irrespective of their stand on religion adopt a calendar, which uses the Christ’s birth as a base. Yes, the World history is split into 2 not on the basis of the birth of great conquerors like Alexander the great or Julius Caesar nor is it divided on the basis of great thinkers like Socrates or Aristotle, rather it is split into two on the basis of birth of a Man, who conquered not the lands but the hearts of the people for God, whose life-transforming message was so simple that a even a simpleton could understand (I Cor 1:20-31).
Now importance of dating of the World calendars on the basis of Christ’s birth pales into insignificance, in the light of ‘new birth experience’ Christ offered to all those who trusted Him (John 1:12,13), so much so Bible declares in II Cor 5:17 that all Christians (who have trusted Him for salvation) ‘are a new creation’. Now dear friends, I want to pose a straight question, ‘Do we have the BC and AD experience ourselves’? Can we echo the sentiments of apostle Paul in II Cor 5:17 and say that ‘BC, my life was muddled in a mire and AD, my life is totally new’. With the II Advent around the corner, we better do!
Zacchueus in Luke 19:8, in essence could say, ‘before Christ came into my life, I was an avaricious tax collector but after Christ came, I am a different man’. It is that life-transforming power - Christ’s birth brought in its wake - which makes Christmas ‘special’ filling us with delight, even as this amazing truth takes root in our hearts.
Oh, yes, Merry Christmas to all of us!