Summary: “She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matt. 1:21.
Theme: The holy One of God in your midst
Text: Isaiah 7:10-16; Rom. 1:1-7; Matt. 1:18-25
Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Advent simply means the coming of Christ and is a time to reflect on Christ, the anointed One, the holy One of God, coming to live in our midst. God the Creator coming to live on the earth He had created. God knows the end from the beginning and this is evident in His creation. Before the creation of man, God created all that man would need. He created man in His image and likeness with a body to be able to live on earth and gave him authority and dominion over all His creation. Just as an astronaut needs a spacesuit in space so man needs a body on earth. God needed a body on earth to become a man.
God gave Christ a body through a supernatural conception and the Virgin Birth. Spiritual truths can only be understood through revelation. There are however, some spiritual truths that cannot be understood and can only be received by faith. God’s revelation of the supernatural conception of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ can only be accepted by faith. If we accept the supernatural conception of Jesus Christ by faith we will have no problems accepting the Virgin birth. The Lord promised a sign to reveal the holy One who would be of the house of David. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel”. (Isaiah 7:14) On earth Jesus had to be born into a family. God chose and prepared a family to take care of the child through His formative years. God chose Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly adopted father and Mary to be His mother. They provided a home for the holy One in our midst. The home plays a significant role in the upbringing up of children. It is in the home that children learn the value of unity, love, fellowship, and the understanding of each other. The home is the place where children grow up to know their heavenly Father and thereby their own identity and value as children of God. It is the place to learn total trust in the Lord and obedience to His commands. It is the place of absolute safety and security.
Joseph was chosen to provide a home for Jesus as his earthly, adopted father. He was able to do this in very difficult circumstances as he was just, merciful, and obedient. Joseph knew that the child was not his. However, he was prepared to do the right thing in the right way because of his obedience to God. Joseph obeyed God and married Mary. Consenting to marry Mary would cast doubt on his innocence regarding the pregnancy and leave them with a social stigma they would have to bear. In spite of this, Joseph served as a role model for God’s Son. Children learn a lot from the home and the ones who make the most impact on children are their parents. They learn from what they see their parents do more than from what they say. There is a story of a young couple returning home from work one afternoon. They met a friend in their neighbourhood and invited him in. They opened their front door only to hear their nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter yelling at each other at the top of their voices. Alarmed they all rushed in to find out what was going on. “What on earth is going on here?” the parents asked. Their son looked at them with a surprised expression on his face for a moment, then smiled and replied, “Oh, there is nothing wrong. We were just playing daddy and mummy.” Children are very good learners and the people who influence them most are their parents. Is it any wonder that they grow up becoming like their parents? Let us be good examples by allowing God to direct our lives.
The mission of the Holy One of God was to pay the penalty for sin. Unbelievers need to hear the good news that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for sin. They need to hear about God’s love and faithfulness and understand the meaning of His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. Christ came for the forgiveness of sin. Unbelievers need to hear that Christ, who was without sin and had never sinned, was made sin with the sin of the whole world, past, present and future to pay the price for their forgiveness. Because of the blood of Christ “God will be merciful towards our iniquities and will remember our sins no more”. (Heb. 8:12)
Christ came to justify the sinner, just-as-if he had never sinned. Christ shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin so that we do not have to bear the Judgement of God. The blood of Christ has not only paid the penalty for sin but has also imputed to us the righteousness of Christ.