Summary: The coming of Christ brings me joy because He soaks up my sin like a sponge, and He helps me get a spiritual bailout.
The Coming of Christ Brings Me Joy
SLIDES 1, 2
Christ brings me joy because He takes away my sin.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
(John 1:29 HCSB)
SLIDE 3 – Sponge Bob
VISUAL ILLUSTRATION – SQUEEZING OUT MY SIN
How does Jesus “take away” the sin of the world? He soaks it up and squeezes it out on the cross. Let me explain it this way. Jesus is like a “sin sponge.” Have any of you seen SpongeBob SquarePants?
He is a cartoon character on the children’s network Nick. He lives at the bottom of the sea in a community called Bikini Bottom. He works as a cook for the “Krusty Krab” restaurant. From time to time, things will happen and he gets out of trouble by the way he uses his body. He will soak things up and shoot them out of his body like this:
SLIDE 4 – Jesus Soaks Up My Sin Like a Sponge
Well, Jesus is a lot like SpongeBob. He takes our sin (show the sin being soaked up from one pan), and then he pours it out on the cross (squeeze the water out in another bucket, representing the cross.)
The reason I can be happy or joyful this Christmas season, and every day in fact, is because Jesus has taken away my sin problem. It is nowhere to be found. I don’t have to carry it with me. Nobody is going to bring it back to me and say: You need to take care of this. Jesus has already done that.
He took my sin and then took it away. When He died on the cross, which paid the sin debt I owed God. This is the reason why John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God.”
What is that?
SLIDE 5 – The Lamb of God
In the Old Testament, God placed a condition for salvation on the people. It was basically a sin payment plan. God was the ultimate Sin Debt Counselor. Today, we go to someone to make an arrangement to pay off our credit card debt. We go and they give us a plan. We pay so much every month until it is paid off.
Well, God made a Sin Debt Payment Plan in the Old Testament. It was called the animal sacrificial system. I collected lots of sin during the year. I would do many things that God would not like. So, God set up a repayment plan. I could come to the temple and pay with a lamb. I could take a lamb and pay for my sin once a year. But the problem was this. I could never get out of the Sin Debt Payment Plan. It was a fixed rate 30-year mortgage payment plan. It was a life-long payment plan. It was also riskier than any financial plan I could get into today. If I died before the following year, then there was no guarantee.
So John called Jesus “the Lamb of God” because Jesus was the way God could help me pay off my sin debt. But to ensure that it would work, God also provided the Holy Spirit.
SLIDE 6 – Joy Comes with the Holy Spirit
I didn't know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on--He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
(John 1:33 HCSB)
Christ keeps me in joy because He gives me the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is my guarantee, or my insurance that the Sin Debt Payment Plan, which was paid by Jesus in full, would stay in effect for me. Jesus died on the cross, and that paid the debt off. But in essence, when I accept Jesus, He helps me keep that sin debt off my “Eternal Debt Fund”.
SLIDE 7 – Forms of Government Guarantee
Many companies have gone bankrupt. For example, K-B Toys has filed for bankruptcy. There are many banks that asked for a bailout. Some automakers have also asked for a bailout. Some have asked for a bridge loan – a loan to help them make it until the money situation gets better.
In all of these cases, bankruptcy, bailout, and bridge loan, the United States government will be involved. In a bankruptcy, the government oversees the process of change and restructuring for the company, and giving the company the chance to pay off the debts until it can be healthy again. In a bailout, the government pays the debts. With a bridge loan, the government provides the money until the company’s financial situation gets better. In each of these three cases, the government provides the “guarantee” that helps the company survive and succeed.