Summary: The birth of Christ was foretold by the prophets. Look for HIs return.
December 20, 2009
Text: Isaiah 7:14
Subject: The Birth of Christ
Title: Merry Christmas - He’s Coming Again
How are you with Christmas? Do you look forward to the season with great anticipation? I think that is the way the Lord would like us to approach the celebration of His birth, don’t you? I remember times when I was young how I looked so forward to Christmas. I grew up in a poor family but didn’t know it. We never got a lot of presents, but Santa always came through with something good. One of the greatest memories I have of Christmas isn’t about the gifts but it’s about family sitting around the living room, laughing and talking. Mom always did a great job decorating the tree. The younger kids didn’t get to help too much until it came time to put the tinsel on. Looking back I can understand why. We were always on our best behavior then. Santa was making a list and checking it twice to find out who was naughty or nice. The attitudes of Christmas all came down to this one fact – the song and the calendar said Santa Claus was coming to town and we believed it.
Now let me take you on a magical tour back in time thousands of years. In a little country on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea lies a country so small that it seems as though it could never amount to anything great. The difference between it and its giant neighbors is the fact that the great creator God had called a people up out of captivity in Egypt – a people He had taken as His own – and had given them this little piece of property approximately the size of New Jersey as their Promised Land. He called it a land flowing with milk and honey. This tiny nation became one of the great nations in the history of mankind. Out of that nation God began to raise up prophets among the people to proclaim to them a time when God would send another great deliverer even greater than Moses. This deliverer would set them free from the bondage of sin. He would be their Messiah – the Anointed One. The prophets were very specific about some of the things concerning the Messiah. The great prophet Isaiah wrote, (Isaiah 7:14) 14Therefore 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 (God with us). Again he wrote as the Holy Spirit moved him, (Isaiah 9:6-7)
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
The prophets even wrote about where this child would be born (Bethlehem), that He would live in Egypt for a time, that He would make His home in Nazareth, that He would heal the sick, give sight to the blind, set captives free from demonic oppression…
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
Finally, the prophets told of the type of death that HE would experience and what its purpose would be – for the salvation of all mankind if they choose to accept it.
All of those prophecies, over a hundred in all, were fulfilled in the child/man Jesus Christ. Just like my anticipation for Christmas as a child, Israel greatly anticipated the coming of their Messiah. But there was a great difference – I never missed Christmas, but the Jews missed the coming of their Savior. They missed His birth, they missed the significance of His life, and they missed His purpose.
Now let’s fast forward two thousand years – back to the future. Just as I can look at the calendar and see that Christmas is coming (even though on December 26 it seems so far away), we also can look at the prophecies and see that Jesus accomplished everything with His life that God had said He would. And He did it for you, because He knew that you could never keep the commandments. That is what would have been required of you to earn your way to heaven – to keep every commandment without ever once messing up. He was the greatest Christmas gift that could have ever been given – and He was given to you. Have you opened the gift yet? Well, maybe not this year but soon? I know I should but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I have plenty of time don’t I?