Summary: The Birth of Christ is described as a sign by Isaiah, this sermon explores the fact that his birth was a sign of God’s power, God’s love and God’s faithfulness!
“Prophecies of Christmas”
The Christmas story in the Bible begins earlier than you might expect, several hundred years earlier, in the Old Testament. One Old Testament prophecy after another promised the coming Messiah who would redeem the people of God. Whether you know it or not, the first promise of the coming Christ was given in very first book of the Old Testament, in Genesis 3:15.
The Prophet Isaiah writing nearly 600 years before the birth of Christ was able to see across the centuries and gave us an amazingly accurate picture of the birth of the Savior. He said, (7:14), "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah said that the birth of Jesus would be “a sign.” We find perfect harmony with this prophecy when the angels announced the birth of Christ in Luke 2:10-12, for they said, "…Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. (11) For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
God has always used signs to get the attention and deliver His message to His people. In the birth of Christ we have a sign from God. But what is the birth of Jesus to a sign of?
First, It Is A Sign Of God’s Power. The birth
of Jesus was not a normal birth, it was a super-natural birth. He told us that “a virgin,” will conceive and bear a child. The word “virgin” used here denotes a woman who has never been sexually intimate with any man not just a young woman. The birth of Jesus was to be a miraculous event, unlike any the world has ever known.
In celebrating Christmas we celebrate the
fulfillment of this prophecy. God became man. Jesus, being God in the flesh, came and dwelt amongst us, being born of the virgin Mary.
Let’s read Matthew 1:18-25, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. (19) Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. (20) But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (21) And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (22) So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: (23) "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,"which is translated, "God with us." (NKJV)
Not Only Is It A Sign of God’s Power But Also…
Secondly, It Is A Sign Of God’s Love.
Isaiah says that He was to be called, “Immanuel” which means “God is with us.” It is a promise that God himself will appear in human form. You probably remember from the Old Testament incidents when God appeared to people as a person. In Genesis we are told that God walked in the garden with Adam. Later God appeared to Abraham as a weary traveler. So what is so unique about the appearance of Jesus? Jesus actually became a person. In the Old Testament, God took on human form, but in Jesus, God became a person. The theological word is “incarnation” that is God become flesh and blood.
In the scripture that almost everyone who has any exposure to the Bible at all knows, John 3:16, we are told, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” It was because of God’s great love for the plight of man that He was willing to allow his only son to come to the earth, take human form, in order that he might pay the debt that our sin demands.
The Apostle Paul tells us the story from the viewpoint of Christ in Philippians 2:6-8, “…who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,(7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” (NKJV)