Summary: Jesus is returning as the king. He came in the cradle, died on the cross and will return as king.
Consummation: God Reigns
Rev. Brian Bill
December 31-January 1, 2016
Now that Christmas is over, maybe people will start being nicer to each other again. Several years ago, I was at a store doing Christmas shopping and a lady told me that I was ignorant. I almost agreed with her and then decided to ask her what she meant. She glared at me and said, “I’ve asked you to get out of the way 3 times now and you haven’t moved.” I apologized to her and mentioned that I hadn’t heard her. As she barreled past me, I couldn’t resist giving her one parting comment. I put a smile on my face and said, “Merry Christmas!” She turned back and growled, “Yeah, Merry Christmas to you, too.”
A few days after this encounter I was in a parking lot and another woman shook her fist at me because I was driving too slowly. I wanted to wish her a Happy New Year but thought better of it. So much for good will to all men!
On Monday of this week, the day after Christmas, a bunch of brawls broke out in 15 malls across America. I promise I didn’t start any of them.
We’re all pretty much on overload right now as it relates to the holidays. We don’t know if we can take any more Christmas carols or Christmas cookies. Perhaps you’ve heard enough preaching on Chistmas as well. Before we jump back into our study in the Gospel of Mark next weekend, the story about the glory of Christ isn’t finished. Let’s summarize where we’ve been so far in our series called, “Christmas: From Creation to Consummation.” If you missed any of the messages, you can watch, listen or read the manuscripts on edgewoodbaptist.net. You could also subscribe to our free sermon podcasts or pick up a CD at Guest Services.
A good way to understand the Bible is not just by looking at small sections but by seeing the overarching meta-narrative. God’s plan and the plotline of the Bible stretch from Genesis to Revelation – all 66 books are woven together by a single storyline. The story of Scripture is about the glory of the Savior.
We’ve been learning to view the content of Christmas through a panoramic lens.
• Creation: God Makes. At Christmas Christ came to cover our curse by dying in our place on the cross! In this first message we discovered that the opening verses of John 1 parallel the first five verses of Genesis 1. Adam brings death and Jesus brings life. We’re all born in Adam and need to be born again through the second Adam in order to become God’s new creation.
• Hope: God Promises. Hope is longing for what God has already promised us. The theme of hope and longing in the Old Testament is fulfilled in Christ. We’re to hold on to the rope of hope when it’s hard to cope by clinging to God’s past promises, His present provisions and to the fruit that’s coming in the future. There’s no way to have hope without having a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
• Covenant: God Pursues. God’s response to our rebellion was to reach out in relationship by making covenants. Covenants address the catastrophe of the Fall, and they all point to Christmas and the Cross. The coming of Christ is connected to the fulfillment of the covenants found in the Old Testament.
• Incarnation: God Comes. On Christmas Eve, we learned that in a similar way that God dwelt with His people in the Tabernacle and in the Temple He now dwells with people through His only Son Jesus Christ! In Him, the glory of God has descended and He has pitched His tent to dwell among us.
• Salvation: God Gives. On Christmas Day we camped in John 3:16 and celebrated that God loves and He lavishes by giving the gift of His one and only Son, the ultimate Lamb of God, who fulfills the entire sacrificial system. We’re called to lean on Him so that we can live forever.
Our title for this weekend is: “Consummation: God Reigns.” A simple way to look at Christmas is to see Christ who came in the cradle, who died as our substitute on the cross, and when He comes again, He’ll be wearing a crown.
The word “consummation” can be defined as, “the point at which something is complete or finalized.” History is headed somewhere as everything will be finalized when Jesus Christ returns to rule and reign forever.
Do you know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. While some of us are happy to say good riddance to 2016 and look forward to a new year, we must keep in the forefront of our minds that the next big appointment on God’s calendar is the return of Jesus Christ! And it could happen in 2017!