Summary: On Christmas Eve, a look at Jesus coming into the world to seek and save the lost.
December 24, 2020
As I was thinking about tonight’s worship, I was thinking about what do I say on a Christmas Eve when you are at home . . . and we are not together celebrating, hugging, shaking hands as we announce the birth of Jesus.
In a normal year, there is still the tension about what to say on Christmas and Easter. What do you say that hasn’t already been said?
My first thought was to look a little more unique or festive.
How do you tell the story, the same story over and over and over? Yet, when you stop and think about it, that’s what I do just about every week. It’s my joy and privilege to share the message of Jesus with you on a weekly basis.
That’s really one of the great, yet scary aspects of preaching. I get to share Jesus with you every week. Sometimes it’s the same story, sometimes it comes with a different slant. A little different way of seeing who Jesus is and what the call of God is in our lives.
So, what’s the hook tonight?! Well, of course, it’s Jesus. What I want to share with you is really pretty fascinating. We’ve already read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke.
Now I want to share with you something I read as I was preparing for tonight. I read an article and then read and reread Romans 5. It’s an amazing chapter from Paul about what Jesus’s death does for us. Then you get to Romans 5:10. And it’s striking. We might not catch it up front. It’s actually really easy to miss. I had to reread this passage slowly again and again. Listen to what Paul tells us about Jesus --
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
This is one of those passages in which it wounds good, but let’s slow down for a moment, because this is why God sent His Son into the world!!
On this Christmas Eve, I want to focus just for a moment on the death of Jesus. In verse 10, Paul tells us the death of Jesus has now reconciled us to God, we’ve been saved by the life and death of Jesus. OK, that’s pretty clear. But now I want you to see something. . .
Paul adds these words . . .
Most of us would say, we’ve been taught that the Cross was the greatest demonstration of God’s love ever. Sending His only Son to the cross for you and I. It’s huge!! It’s really beyond huge, because without the cross we have nothing.
You know what it’s like when you hear a story from the National Enquirer about how someone was taken to Mars and they came back to talk about. We don’t believe it. Sometimes it can be that way when we think about the birth of Jesus, about the Cross and resurrection. It seems so beyond our comprehension, yet, we believe - - - because we trust and believe in God.
Then, we add to that the Empty Tomb. I mean - - come on - - how does that happen? That’s the greatest power illustration from God. Now, let me add to that . . . Paul is now telling us - - it’s not a suggestion – – it’s a statement of fact by Paul. That those events are small, they’re actually minuscule in comparison to what is in store for us.
How do you describe what is bigger and better than the cross and empty tomb? How far does your imagination go? How do you describe heaven as being paved in streets of gold, of having pearls for door handles, for colors that we can’t yet imagine and see?
My imagination seems to have limits, but this is what God is telling us about our hope and faith. Here is a truth for us that might be really difficult to comprehend. God has more in store for us.
The cross leads us to believe what is beyond our imagination. There is in store for me . . . much more. WOW!!
Imagine really believing God has more in store for you and I than what we can really imagine. It’s beyond the cross and empty tomb.
Maybe this is a better Easter message, but let’s pause for a moment . . . With the year we’ve endured, we need to hear this amazing news from God!
I’m talking about the ending, but there’s a beginning. And that beginning is the birth. It’s God saying, I love you people so much, that I am going to send my Son into this world, a world that is not always nice, into a world which is really messed up in sin . . . but you know, I love you, and that’s what love does, love sacrifices, so I’m going to do it anyways.