Summary: A message loking at the coming of Christ and what effect it had on our lives.
“What’s the Point of Christmas?”
December 17, 2006
Me: Christmas is such a big deal in our culture. Granted, there are many people who would like to see the religious element of Christmas removed, but the holiday is still a really huge event. An entire month, or more in reality, is dedicated to the concept and the celebration of Christmas. Stores are decorated, radio stations play different music, and people go into a rush to buy the latest fad gift for that special someone.
I found myself standing in a store recently thinking of all the junk that goes with celebrating Christmas. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not some kind of scrooge that just wants to get it over with. I love Christmas. I love the smells, the sounds and the sights. But recently I was just overwhelmed with the sense of wondering what it all is for.
You: Do you ever feel that way? Have you ever just had this feeling in the middle of the Christmas season where you asked, “What is this all for?”
Today I want to help us look at the spiritual side of Christmas and ask the question, what is the point? I want us to really take a look and think about why Jesus showed up on earth two thousand years ago and what could possibly be the lesson and application for us today.
God: There is a passage of scripture where Jesus himself reveals why he came to earth. It is found in Luke 4:16-21.
“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:16-21
This event takes place in Jesus’ adult life. It is a common occurrence for men to read the scroll in the synagogue during worship. When it is Jesus’ turn, this is the passage that he read. What he is saying in this passage is that the promise that the peole had heard their entire lives was now being confirmed in him.
Let’s go back and look at the original text and see what lessons we can learn about Jesus coming to earth.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
Jesus came to bring good news to humanity.
When the bible speaks of good news, it is speaking of an eternal nature, and not merely a physical or earthly event. Everyone likes good news. We wait until the last few minutes of the nightly news to find the one or two feel good stories for the day. We wait in anticipation for the arrival of babies to hear the good news that they are healthy.
When Jesus came to earth, it was to bring humanity spiritual good news.
When Jesus reads this passage, he makes it very clear that he is talking about himself.
The life that Jesus lived on earth was designed to show us the life God intended for humanity.
God created us to live in relationship with him, but we chose to fulfill our evil desires instead of the desires of God. That is why it was necessary for Jesus to come and help us overcome the evil desires of our hearts.
Mankind had tried everything possible to live the life God intended. From following Gods laws that he gave to Moses, to adding to those laws, mankind was in a continual pursuit to live up to Gods design. But we never could.
So what happened? Well, we found ourselves living a life of bondage and captivity that God never intended for us to live. Ultimately he gave us Jesus to free us from this life.
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)