Summary: God has been working through history to bring salvation through Jesus Christ.
God’s Unfolding Plan
Text: Matthew 2:13-23
When the church I was pastoring decided to build, the county required us to file our blueprints, the plan for our project.
Any project of significance requires a plan to ensure all the working parts come together in the right way.
Our God is the God of the Plan: Noah was given specific plans for the ark, pages of plans are given for the construction of the tabernacle and all of its furnishings.
Proposition: Nowhere is God’s attention to detail more evident than in the story of God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Even the title Christ is a reminder of God’s plan, Christ is the Greek for Messiah--the anointed one, the one who fulfills God’s promise, Who consummates God’s plan. The man Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Transition: Today we begin a series of sermons from the book of Matthew, who under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, again and again stops to remind us as he tells the story of Jesus, that all of this is happening according to a plan laid out by God at the beginning of time. A plan which was foretold by the prophets. He makes three such prophetic pit stops in the 10 verse passage we read this morning, and those three prophetic references each emphasize a different aspect of God’s plan.
I’d like us to consider those three aspects of God’s plan this morning and as we do I’d like us to consider not only how God’s plan related to Jesus although that clearly is one important thing we need to do, but I’d also like us to consider how God’s planning nature relates to each of us in the here and now.
The first thing we should notice about the God of the Plan is that...
God Has a Plan In History
13-15When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
This particular prophetic reference is not to a prophecy that we would normally consider predictive. The devout Jews who were watching for a Messiah were not looking for this particular passage of OT prophecy to be fulfilled by the Messiah. Rather in it’s context it is simply a reminder of the history of Israel and as we read this morning it gives way to a rather dire prediction of a new Egyptian exile and enslavement of God’s people.
So why does Matthew tell us that Jesus’ trip to Egypt fulfills this prophecy? We could render the phrase instead that this trip "filled to the fullest" this prophecy. What Matthew is saying here is that Jesus trip into Egypt gives greater meaning to the prophecy, and to the history of God’s people that the prophecy refers to.
By making the trek to Egypt with his family, the life of Christ parallels the work of God in "redemptive history" which is to say Christ’s life becomes a reminder of how God set apart a people and called them out of Egypt and made a covenant with them to be their God and they would be His people. This people of God becomes the lineage through which God will begin to craft a holy people, a nation set apart ultimately, as God promised Abraham, not to bless themselves, but that God would bless all nations through them because they would be the source of God’s ultimate promise--the Messiah, Jesus Christ.