Summary: The heart of Christmas must remain at the heart of all we are about as believers.
At this time of the year, as well as the year to come, we who know the reason for the season must resolve, even as Paul did, to preach “Jesus Christ as Lord.” Jesus is the heart of Christmas, and honoring Him and exalting Him must be at the heart of everything we do.
It is in this spirit that I want us to explore this question today: “What kind of man was this whose birth was so significant that it splits time into B.C. and A.D.?” (B.C. stands for “Before Christ” and A.D. stands for “Anno Domini” - “Year of our Lord”).
1. What does the Bible say about Him?
A. Jesus was Human.
We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, but it was not actually the birth which was supernatural. It was the conception which was supernatural. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. After the supernatural conception, Jesus was born just like any other baby is born. He was born of a woman when the time for delivery had come.
He also experienced life like any other person. As a carpenter in Nazareth, His hands grew rough through hard work, His feet got tired and dirty as He walked the roads of Palestine, and He even got blisters, like any other man. He worked, He played, He laughed, He cried, He grew tired, He grew hungry, He grew thirsty, He knew loneliness, He knew weariness, He knew sorrow, He knew happiness. He experienced life like you and I do, yet was without sin.
B. Jesus was Divine.
The biblical writers called Jesus “Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” What did they mean? They meant that there had never been a person like Jesus, nor would there ever be a person like Him again. In Jesus Christ, they came face to face with God.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” - Hebrews 1:1-3a (NIV)
In Christ, God took on flesh for two primary reasons:
A. To reveal to us what we could never know on our own.
“Jesus is God spelling Himself out in language that men can understand.” - S.D. Gordon
B. To pay for us what we could never pay on our own.
“At the heart of Christian faith is the good news of redemption for sin through one who would stand in the sinner’s place bearing his guilt and satisfying the debt of God’s eternal just wrath. Only God could do this; the great Judge of mankind was judged for us. However, only a human being should stand in the place of humans; yet he had to be perfect himself. Who could do that? One who is God and yet, at the same time, perfect man, the Lord Jesus Christ.” - John Hannah
Scripture says Jesus is the unique person of the ages - the God-man!
2. What did Jesus say about Himself?
Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. This claim is unique to Jesus.
“Buddha never claimed to be God. Moses never claimed to be Jehovah. Mohammed never claimed to be Allah. Yet Jesus Christ claimed to be the true and living God. Buddha said, ‘I am a teacher in search of the truth.’ Jesus said, ‘I am the Truth,’ (John 14:6). Confucius said, ‘I never claimed to be holy.’ Jesus said, ‘Who convicts me of sin?’ (John 8:46). Mohammed said, ‘Unless God throws his cloak of mercy over me, I have no hope.’ Jesus said, ‘Unless you believe in me, you will die in your sins,’ (John 8:24).” - Anonymous
Jesus confirmed His claims through His sinless life and victorious resurrection.
“If Christ is truly God, His claim to be the only way has to be taken seriously. If on the other hand, He is merely one more person in a pantheon of pretenders, His proclamations can easily be pushed aside. That is precisely why the resurrection is axiomatic to Christianity. Through the resurrection, Christ demonstrated that
He does not stand in a line of peers with Buddha, Baha’u’llah, Krishna, or any founder of a world religion. They died and are still dead, but Christ is risen.” - Hank Hanegraaff
What did Jesus claim for Himself? That He was the unique person of the universe - God in the flesh - the only hope of men!
3. What does history say about Jesus?