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Summary: Have you every noticed some of the similarities of the events that take place at Jesus' birth, death, resurrection and return? Not only are God's finger prints all over each event but it seems as if His power and majesty increases with each event!

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Let's read a couple of Bible passages and see if we notice any similarities between the two.

Luke 2:4-7 NIV (read from the Bible)

“So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a Child. While they were there, the time came for the Baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”

John 19:38-40 NIV (read from the Bible)

“Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.”

Isn’t that interesting? At Jesus’ birth He was wrapped in swaddling cloths and placed in a manger. At Jesus’ death He was wrapped in linen cloths and placed in a tomb.

This got me to thinking … what other similarities are there between the beginning of Jesus’ life on earth and the end of His earthly life?

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Well, we know that angels were involved in making announcements!

The angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah and then to Mary. An angel appears to Joseph three times in dreams, to shepherds in the field at night and to the Wise Men in a dream. The angels were busy making announcements, giving directions and giving warnings.

Matthew 28:1-7

“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.

"His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.

“Then go quickly and tell His disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him.’ Now I have told you.”

Whenever we look at such things as these angels we need to remember that they are always pointing to Jesus. We can get distracted by such beings as angels or even godly people who have gone on before us but as followers of Christ our laser-like focus is on Jesus; always Jesus.

Now, I’ll be using the term laser-like focus quite often this morning. Why?

There are two possible light sources you can attach to a gun. One is a flashlight which will light up whatever the gun is pointing at but at any distance you will still need to use the gun sights to hit what you are shooting at.

The other is a laser sight which restricts the spread of the light beam to one narrow beam. If that laser sight is properly installed you do not need to use the gun sights at all. If the laser beam is on the target you will hit the target.

So, when we talk about having a laser-like focus on Jesus that is the idea we will be trying to achieve.

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What about statements made by nature? What???

What about that star? We know that “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psalm 19:1

Was it something special that the Lord put in place just for that very time?

You see, here’s the problem. When the Bible says that the star “stood over” it appears that it was stationary. Stars are never stationary, they move through the sky as the earth rotates.

If you go outside at 10:00 PM and look at a star in the east you can see that perhaps it is just above a tree on the eastern horizon. Then, if you were to go outside at 4:00 AM the star might be above a mountain on the western horizon. It would be difficult to follow that star.

The Bible also says that the star led the Wise Men, that they “followed” the star.

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