Summary: Surely it is good we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But why did God send His only Son? What was the reason? It ultimately leads to the cross and forgiveness, and our salvation.
We talked last week about “What if.” We looked at the Dickens Story “A Christmas Carol” and while acknowledging that “Christ” was not mentioned in the story, as Christians, we look for the message of Christ everywhere. And as such, we said that we might look at the “Spirits” of Christmas past, present and future as manifestations of the Holy Spirit, coming into Scrooge’s life to bring about a change. And we remember the first words he spoke when he awoke to realize he was not dead… and realized he was given a second chance…. “I repent!”
A couple of points to review. First… “I repent”…. A dramatic change of life style. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Co 5:17-18).
But “what if” God had not sent Jesus? “What if” you and I had been born in the OT times? Did the OT folks celebrate Christmas????? Of course not. Wow, no presents. So, what about those folks???
Well, praise God, that’s one thing we will never have to worry about. Because God had the plan for Jesus and for us from the beginning of creation as we will see in a moment.
But as to those OT folks… what about them? This is a question a lot of people ask. Well, here is the answer, the answer that is as relevant today as it was in OT.
. 3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Ro 4:2-3)
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Ge 15:6).
11 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 By faith Abraham….
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Heb 11:1-16)
It’s all about faith.
God always wanted the Gentiles, that’s you and me, to be brought into the family of God. Throughout the OT when the “Gentiles” are mentioned it is in the context of those lost, in the darkness. God always intended to bring us into His family of “Chosen” people. And we find evidence of this throughout the Bible. Today’s scripture is a wonderful example.
Read portions of Isaiah 42
42 1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Isaiah the Prophet speaks a lot about Jesus, though never by name. God reveals through Isaiah His plan for His people… His plan from the beginning of creation.