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Summary: And so Joseph got up in the middle of the night, and he and Jesus and Mary made their way to Egypt. They were sent to Egypt.

WHEN CHRISTMAS CAME TO EGYPT

Scripture Reference: Matthew 2.13-15

ILLUSTRATION

When I was growing up in East Saint Louis, around this time of the year I developed what I call a new profession.

I had chores around the house that I was responsible for, but this job was not mom-appointed, but rather self-appointed.

The job --- super detective --- I would go on a mission to find out where my parents have hid the Christmas presents. I would until they would go off to work and then I would go to work.

I’d look in hallway closets, under beds, and inside of attics. I was on a mission to find out if they bought me what I ask for. I even had a staff of two – my younger brothers helping me out.

One Christmas year, I found them stashed in my parents’ room way back in the closet behind some old clothes. I pulled them down and began to sort through them looking for the ones with my name on them.

I’d shake them, feel them, and hold them up to the light to see if there was any hint to what was behind the wrapping paper.

After moments spent doing that, I would carefully put them back the way I found them and covering them back up and leave the room remembering the shapes and sizes of the presents.

I was excited because I knew come Christmas morning there was a gift with my name on it. I couldn’t wait to get it open because the gift on the inside would bring life to kid on the outside.

I’ve got some good news for you this morning. I am excited for some of you this morning because Christmas is coming.

I just came to tell you that there is a gift with your name on it, wrapped in swaddling clothes, laid out in a manager, and it’s got your name it.

You don’t have to look very far or dig very deep. It’s as close to you as your Bible and it’s got your name on it. That unspeakable gift is Jesus Christ.

The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, "the unspeakable gift!"

TRANSITION

It was the middle of the night, and Joseph was sleeping, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.

Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” The wise men from the east had just visited Jesus. They had told King Herod that they were on their way to visit the one who was born King of the Jews, and this bothered Herod.

He was the King of the Jews, or so he thought. He wondered if this newborn child would be a threat to his throne. The wise men didn’t return like he thought they would, and this upset him.

Any threat to his position of power must be eliminated. And so very soon, maybe even the next day, Herod would send his soldiers into Bethlehem to massacre all boys under the age of two.

“Get up, Joseph,” the angel said. “Get out of here as fast as you possibly can.” Satan was behind this whole thing – this was his first attempt to assassinate the Messiah.

And so Joseph got up in the middle of the night, and he and Jesus and Mary made their way to Egypt. They were sent to Egypt.

They were sent to Egypt. Why would they be called upon to go there? Egypt, the only other place aside from Jerusalem that is mentioned at least once in almost every book of the Bible.

Egypt, the place where Hagar, the handmaid of Sarah Abraham’s wife was from.

Egypt, the place where Joseph, the Bible’s most successful single was sold into slavery by his brothers.

Egypt, the place where Jacob and all of his family moved during a famine in Canaan and lived under the rule of Joseph who was then second in command under Pharaoh.

Egypt, the place where Pharaoh ordered the destruction of hundreds of Hebrew male children to stall the rapid growth of nation dwelling in the land.

Egypt, the place where Moses was born a Hebrew, raised as an Egyptian, fled as a Hebrew, but returned as a deliverer of God’s people.

Egypt, the place where God performed signs, wonders, and miracles before the Egyptians so that they would know they were not gods and before Israel so that they would know that there was a true God.

Egypt, the places were Israel was delivered, redeemed by the hand of Almighty God.

Four hundred years of oppression – delivered.

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