Summary: On a silent night nearly 2000 years ago the cry of a newborn baby ushered in a new beginning for mankind. A saviour had arrived one who would set us free for all eternity. His cry is the one the whole world longs for but finds so very difficult to hear.
Who is this Jesus and why has He come in this way?
Why did God use this Jewish couple to reveal the Messiah to the world?
If God wanted to save the world from sin why didn’t He make it big news?
Why reveal His plan in such an ordinary understated way?
Well there was a star in the night sky that caught the attention of some foreigners who knew enough to be on the lookout for just such a sign. We call them the Wise Men or the Maji.
Numbers 24:17 RSV
17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: a star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab, and break down all the sons of Sheth.
In fact there had been nearly 60 different prophecies written through the inspiration of God in the Hebrew bible to herald the news that the Messiah was coming.
The fact of the matter was that people had not forgotten where to look. But when to look.
At the time of Jesus birth the world had a single king named Caesar Augustus. He was considered the “son of god” and was worshiped by the entire world as a “saviour”.
He had brought peace to the world through the power and might of Rome’s armies. The Pax Romana. It was a peace forced on the world by violence and oppression. A very different peace from the kind of peace that God’s people were looking for.
When Jesus was born Israel was a nation occupied and ruled by a foreign power. But that was really not all that strange since Israel had been conquered by Babylon, the Assyrians, the Persians and the Greeks the Romans just happened to be the latest landlords.
For the Jewish people of Israel it would take a great army and a mighty king to overthrow Rome.
It would take a Messiah.
So how could one baby boy make a difference?
Well written in the pages of human history is the divine will of God displayed as prophecy.
God does not need an army to conquer the world.
God will overcome the world by His love.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. K.J.V.
John 3:16-17 NIV
God will give Himself in the person of His son Jesus Christ to free the world from the oppression and slavery that is sin. The world of Caesar and all the - would be kings of the earth want you and I to be held as captive subjects indebted to this world's system of slavery and strife.
This world would have you and I surrender all we are and all we have to it as the price of our continued existence.
But that is no kind of freedom and God knows it.
God wants us free to worship Him not this sinful broken world.
So God put in motion a plan to set us free from sin and the bondage of this world.
Jesus is to be our king.
The king of our hearts and minds and souls.
On a silent night nearly 2000 years ago the cry of a newborn baby ushered in a new beginning for all mankind.
A saviour had arrived one who would set us free for all eternity.
His cry is the one the whole world longs for but finds so very difficult to hear.
Did you know... that..... on Christmas Eve
In 1914 during World War 1 the armies of Great Britain and Germany were standing in muddy trenches with guns pointed at each other.
It was during Christmas Eve that an unexpected truce had occurred on the bloody battlefields of Europe.
Silence had replaced the sounds of violence and war. It was the first Silent Night on the battlefield in a long time.
Spontaneously both the British and German soldiers laid down their weapons and put them at their sides.
Then each soldier began to sing Silent Night Holy Night in his own language but the tune was the same.
Both sides could hear the other singing that Christmas Hymn as it made its way across the trenches.
Unfortunately the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce ended just as suddenly as the final words were sung... "sleep in Heavenly peace, sleep in Heavenly peace."
The peace they sought was not the kind of peace that would last.
They wanted to silence each others voices instead of listening to the voice of God.
Friends we need a real peace in our hearts.