Summary: The COST of Christmas includes the Cause of our salvation, the futile Contradiction of the truth of God’s sign, and the Calvary payment plan.
Dr. Tom Doubt, Senior Pastor
Four Mile Creek Baptist Church
THE COST OF CHRISTMAS
A. Two weeks ago, we began looking at the “C”s of Christmas. The 1st “C” was the Coming as the shoot from the stump of Jesse that will have the Spirit of the Lord upon Him (Is 11:1ff).
1. Last week’s “C” examined Christ as the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being (Heb 1:1ff)
2. This week our “C” is the Cost of Christmas, found in Luke 2.
B. One estimate this year suggests the average cost of Christmas is $800 per family.
1. Tis the season for love, joy, peace on earth – well, almost
a. Two women were caught on a store camera in K-Mart the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is called – That’s right, “Black Friday.”
b. Both women got to the store about 4 AM in order to get bargain. By the time they got to a particular area of the store, only one item was left. They ended up in fist fight to save few $$.
c. Video shown on the nightly news showed store cops subduing both women. It was uglier than Smack Down Wrestling. For these two women the Cost of their Christmas was whatever they saved on the gift, minus a fine, minus the embarrassment.
2. Each Christmas we are reminded of costs & our approach to counting cost.
a. It costs us time & effort to find just the right gift, the right decoration.
b. Costs include time & space to go places, do things
c. There is the emotional cost of love & reconciliation, as well as the cost / benefit ratio of worship, prayer, and Bible study.
C. Luke 2 records the cost factors in the very 1st Christmas
1. Shepherds come to see Baby Jesus in manger (v 15). Cost was involved in whether to believe what they were told, whether to go and see.
2. God did not keep Jesus in the manger very long (v 21); it was not cost effective for His plan. When Jesus was 8 days old He was circumcised according to the Law (Lev 12:3).
3. The Baby was given the name Jesus, the Hebrew form of Joshua. The latter was derived from Moses adding Yahweh to the name of Hoshea (Num. 13:16), and meant “the Lord God is salvation.” It cost Joseph to follow God’s direction since no one in his family was named Jesus.
4. After 33 more days, Mary was ceremonially clean (v 22). It cost the holy family to travel to Jerusalem to dedicate Jesus according to God’s command (Ex 13:2).
a. Mary & Joseph were poor, so their offering cost only 2 turtledoves or pigeons (v 24).
b. One was for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering (Lev 12:8). The Sin offering was done first as the ceremonial cleansing of impurity. The burnt offering was for thanksgiving for the child.
5. It cost Simeon that first Christmas. It cost him to wait patiently for the consolation of Israel (v 25). It cost to believe the promise that he see the Christ (v 26). It cost to allow himself be led by the Spirit into the temple that day. (v 27)
6. When Simeon sees Jesus, he takes Him in his arms, and praises God for the salvation all peoples (v 31). Then he turns & blesses Mary & Joseph in an unusual way.
Read: LUKE 2:33-35
A. Christmas is a lovely holiday for many because it’s so predictable. You always know where to find Jesus, not like the empty tomb at Easter.
1. We know exactly where to find Jesus each Christmas – in a manger.
a. It’s always in the O Little Town of Bethlehem
b. Every year we find Him Away in a Manger
c. He is such a predictable Infant Holy, Infant Lowly that we Go Tell It on The Mountain.
2. There seems to be a great temptation to keep Jesus in the manger all year long. The cute, helpless Baby will not challenge us very much. Sure, we can acknowledge that Baby Jesus is the Son of God, but we do not have to respond to Him as Savior of our life.
3. We buy on the delayed installment plan – Christmas now – Easter whenever.
4. The Bible reminds us that was not God’s plan – Jesus was not going to stay for long in the manger.
B. 40 days after Jesus’ birth, God brought Simeon to the center stage of history.
1. His blessing on Joseph & Mary brought home the complete message of Christmas
2. The message was not about a Baby, but a Messiah
3. The cost of the message was challenging, difficult and painful.