Summary: Takes hearers from birth through death and ressurection in a very short and easy to understand manner which applies practical application to everyday life.
JOKE--- Finding a lamp on a beach, Bob began cleaning it, so he rubs it, bam! Out comes a genie. For setting me free, I will now grant u 3 wishes. ?Cool? says Bob. ?OK Genie dude, I want a billion dollars.? Poof! As the smoke clears, there in his hands, Bob was holding a paper with Swiss bank account numbers in his name.
?Cool? he says.
?Next, I want a Ferrari? Poof! Parked next to him was a brand new red Ferrari with vanity plates that says ?Bob?! Again Cool!
?Finally? Bob says, ?I want to be irresistible to women?
Poof! Bob turns into box of chocolates.
INTRO--- Have you ever wondered why the Lord of the Universe chose to come into this world 2000 years ago as a tiny baby instead of a conquering king?
We are a society which loves to look at baby pictures. My friend there is nothing more beautiful, cuter or more approachable than a new born baby. Babies are irresistible. When a baby enters the room the first thing even strangers want to do is to come near the child and touch it. But would you dare to draw near a conquering King? Not on your life, instead, many would flee.
The manger speaks powerfully of a God who wants to identify with the poor and the humble, the unfortunate ones, the struggling mothers, the homeless, the fearful, the hurting, the classless, the regular guy on the street. The manger speaks to every one who feels insignificant. The manger makes a statement ? there?s Someone who cares about you so much that He was willing to enter the muck and mire of a living hell, a place of struggle and suffering and disease and war called earth just to be with you. No, this God is not gonna watch from a distance.
Folks that?s the point of the manger scene! And even still this Christmas the Christ child welcomes us all to come near and touch Him and fellowship with Him forever.
TRANS---I was reading through the Gospels again when I noticed something so amazing that this sermon practically took on a life of its own and wrote itself. You see, my amazing discovery was that when Jesus was born in the manger he was wrapped in swaddling cloths. But then I also read that when he died at the cross, once again, he was wrapped this time in a very similar burial shroud. And in between his two coverings we learn all about Jesus? mission of self-sacrifice to the world. Because of His sacrifice, there are three coverings we need to examine this Christmas:
I. JESUS WAS COVERED AT THE CRADLE
A. Look at vs. 7---Swaddling clothes were strips of cloth wrapped around a newborn infant to keep it warm.
1. Now the swaddling clothes, which bound the infant Lord following His birth, were symbols of the cold condition of all humanity.
a. Mat. 3:1-2--- In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
b. Human hearts had grown ice cold toward God as each person did what was right in his or her own eyes.
c. The swaddling clothes are a symbol of God?s warm love that Jesus would restore in our hearts.