Summary: Christmas 2016 message. Jesus repossessed what man so freely handed over to Satan - our authority to rule on this earth.
Scriptures: Gen. 1:26; 3:15; Luke: 1:31-33; 2:11; Phil. 2:9-11
Repossess: To get possession of again. This morning I will not hold you long, but I want to give you another reason to think about why we celebrate today. I want to say up front that while we use this time to give gifts to each other, Jesus was not a gift to the world – He was a Savior.
When God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created the world they created man as part of the process. Genesis 1:26 records “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” When man was created, he was created in the image and likeness of God. After being created, man was given “the” gift – the gift of being a ruler. Man was created from nothing and entered this world with nothing. However, God gave man the authority to rule over everything else on the earth and since man did not earn this authority through his hard work, it was a gift from his Creator. This, my friends, was a relationship position. As long as there was a relationship between the Creator and the created, the created could rule. However, when the relationship was broken, the ability to rule stopped. When Adam and Eve chose to eat of the forbidden tree, the gift that they were given to rule the earth was transferred to Satan who immediately became the god of this world. Man had given Satan the gift that he had received from God.
When God found out and He was issuing out the punishment, notice what He told Satan. Genesis 3:15 says “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” God told Satan that there would be hostility between his descendants and her descendants. He told him that he would make her descendant suffer but he would ultimately be destroyed by her descendant. Her descendant, Christ, would suffer at the hands of Satan but He would ultimately be victorious on the cross.
Years later when Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, she was told the following in Luke 1:31-33: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” When Jesus was born the angel told the shepherds “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) I want us to understand that Jesus did not come to the earth as a gift to mankind, He came to the earth to take possession of something that had belonged to Him that had been given to Satan – the authority over everything. When Jesus rose from the dead He said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus took back, grasped from Satan hands, what Adam had so easily given him. Jesus repossessed the authority that He had given to Adam and which Adam had temporarily given to Satan. Let me share a story that will more clearly illustrate what happened.
When I was teenager, my mother gave my brother and me a gold birthstone ring. She felt that we were old enough to have one and could take care of it. I wore mine proudly as it was the first “real” ring that I ever owned. One day, in a fit of thinking I was in love prior to Nikki – in case some of you were wondering, I let a girlfriend wear it. That was a big deal back in that day to let your girlfriend wear your ring. Well, as luck would have it, my mother noticed that the ring was no longer on my finger. She asked me what happened to the ring and I told her I was “letting” my girlfriend wear it. My mother, in no uncertain terms, made it clear that I was to go to school the next day and retrieve my ring from that girl. Please understand my viewpoint. In my mind the ring belonged to me and I could let my girlfriend wear it if I chose. However, in my mother’s mind she brought it and therefore part possession was still hers. Needless to say, I dreaded going to school the next day to “repossess” my ring. I had to tell my girlfriend that my mother said I could not let her wear it. Can you see that conversation? While I thought I owned the ring because it was given to me, in the end the “real” possession of that ring belonged to me at the will of my mother. When God gave man authority to rule over this earth, it was given with the condition of a relationship. Man subsequently entered into a relationship with Satan and transferred that authority to him. Jesus came to earth and “repossessed” what man had given away so freely.