Summary: To show through the names of Christ the true meaning of Christmas
Title: The Meaning of Christmas
Theme: To show through the names of Christ the true meaning of Christmas
Text: Matthew 1:18-23
As I said at the beginning of the month of December I was going to dedicate the three weeks before Christmas as being sermons preached on Christmas. Two weeks ago I preached on The Gospel of Christmas(Fear not, Rejoice, Peace), The Way of Christmas(How Christ came into the world, through the virgin birth and the importance of believing in the virgin birth because It is how Christ is Holy, and how he if fully man and fully divine) And this week we are going to talk about the meaning or purpose of Christmas. What was the reason that we celebrate Christmas. What was the purpose of Christ coming into the world? Born of a virgin. I believe we find it in these verses.
In these verses we see two names of Christ mentioned. Two names in reference. As we know from the Old and New Testaments there is a lot to learn from the meaning of names. So let us look at these names.
I. Immanuel-"God with us" The Hope
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring
forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, God with us.
This is just a repeat of the prophesy in Isaiah 7:14. It reads.
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name
Isaiah was talking to the ungodly king Ahaz. God wanted to give him a sign. A sign to give hope to the people. But Ahaz did not want a sign. A sign would prompt belief and commitment to God so Ahaz wanted to avoid any knowance of God. But Isaiah gives him a sign anyway. The sign is that there will come a Messiah and he shall be born of a virgin. A virgin shall conceive. And with this his name shall be called Emmanuel. Emmanuel meaning God with us.
Here we see the first and foremost meaning of Christmas. Christmas means that God is with us. God came down to be with man.
A couple of years ago I read a story about a man who lived in a farm house way out in the country. One year there came a big storm. As he was sitting and looking out his window he saw a flock of birds for some reason down on the ground looking for food. Knowing it has snowed he said to himself that there was no way that these birds could find food in the snow. So he decided to throw some food out to the birds. So he took some seed and threw in the yard. But the birds would not come close to the food. He went over and tried to shew them to the food but they just flew away until he left. Then he said to himself how can I get the birds to eat when they are afraid of me. I know if I become one of them then I could tell them.
Now this is what God did. To be able to communicate his gospel more clearly to us he decided to be one of us. This is Christ. Immanuel God with us. If we look at nature we see a God that is above us. (For he takes care of all creation.) If we look at the law we see a God who is against us. (For we must obey the law or it seems to be punished by God, because whenever we follow the law then we are under it and away from God). If we look at the Gospels then we see a God who is with us. (A part of us in our own nature but divine enough to save us from the sin of the world.)
Let us think about this for a minute. Christmas means that God came down and took the form of man. Almighty, all powerful, all knowing God came down to be a part of us. He put aside his power, might and knowledge to be a part of us. Oh what love. Oh what grace. And to think it even gets better than this. Not only did he become flesh but he died for us.
John 15:13-AV Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay
down his life for his friends.
What more love could you have but to lay down your life for another person. What love. This is truly the meaning of Christmas.
But we also see a second meaning of Christmas. This is found in verse
II. Jesus-"Our Salvation" The Realization
Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his