Summary: To understand Christmas you must understand it's Reality, Reason and Result.
WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
A couple of years ago on America’s Funniest Home Videos, a young boy was shown on Christmas morning. He came down to see a large present beside the tree and ran over to tear it open to see what was inside. The paper went flying and suddenly he broke into a dance and jumped around the room saying, “Wow it’s just what I wanted. Wow, it’s just what I needed. Wow…” Then after looking at it again he says with a puzzled look on his face, “What is it?” On that first Christmas the angels announced the birth of a new child. The heavens were opened and all the company of heaven broke into praise. Shepherds went racing to Bethlehem to see what it was all about. And for two thousand years we have been jumping up and down saying, “Wow, it’s just what I wanted and exactly what I needed ” But in the next breath we look again inside the stable and ask, “What is it?” Why did God become a man? What is Christmas all about?
It is amazing to me that an event that happened nearly 2000 years ago can still cause traffic jams today. That is the power of God. What is so special about Christmas? It is the hinge of history. Even our calendars are dated from the reference point of Jesus Christ. God split history with the event of Christmas. Everything is either A.D. or B.C.
What is so special about Christmas? I think Philippians 2 answers it. We have here one of the greatest explanations in the Bible of who Jesus Christ is and what He came to do. This is our bedrock, the foundation of everything that we believe.
Phil 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1. The REALITY of Christmas – the cradle (vs. 5-7)
Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Even though he was in very nature God, He did not consider equality with God something to be GRASPED. What does that mean?
The word GRASPED is the Greek word HARPAGMOS and comes from the root word which means to choose. Jesus had a choice. He could have held on to and retained His divine nature. However, He chose to release it and to become human for us. He chose to become a servant for us. The reality of Christmas is that God chose to become one of us.
When the allies landed on Normandy on D-Day, that was big news. It was a clear victory and a sign that the war would be won. That is nothing compared to the news that God invaded earth.
When President Nixon was the president of the United States he said in a speech that the greatest moment in human history was when man walked on the moon. But Billy Graham corrected him and said, “no, the greatest moment in history was not when man walked on the moon but when God walked on the earth.” Jesus was God in the flesh and he walked among us.
Larry King was once asked in an interview a particular question: "If you could select any one person across all of history to interview, who would it be?" Mr. King’s answer was that he would like to interview Jesus Christ. When the questioner followed with, "And what would you like to ask him?" King replied, "I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me."
The greatest news of all time is that God came in the flesh. Jesus was eternally, and equally God. He was infinite creator but laid aside his divinity to become a finite creation.
There are a lot of people in the world today who have a hard time with that. They cannot understand why and how God would become a man and so they reject Him. They accept Jesus as a great man, even a great prophet. There's only one problem with that: Jesus never claimed to be a great prophet. Over and over the Bible repeats and Jesus proclaims that He is God.