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Summary: Matthew gives us important facts concerning the Christ of CHRIST-mas: How He came (by a miraculous, virgin birth); who he was (both fully God and man, and thus a suitable substitute to die for our sins); why He came (to save us from our sins).

Who Is the Christ of Christmas?

Chuck Sligh

December 18, 2011

A PowerPoint presentation for this message is available by emailing me at chucksligh@hotmail.com.

TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Matthew 1.

INTRODUCTION

Christmas is a wonderful time of year…

• It’s a time of happiness, joy and expectation.

• It’s a time for family, decorating the Christmas tree and gift-giving.

• And it’s a time for Christmas parties and children’s plays.

Don’t you just love children’s Christmas plays?!

Illus. – I love the story of the kindergartners who got out of line while putting on a Christmas play in church—and they, of course, were just adorable. But they also had one of those inevitable blunders that you know is just going to happen every time you get a bunch of little kids up on stage!

Thirteen of them were supposed to walk across the stage, each carrying a letter-bearing placard. Together, if they were in correct order and in line—their placards spelled out

B-E-T-H-L-E-H-E-M S-T-A-R. But the “star” group got turned around and went in backwards, so to speak, spelling out B-E-T-H-L-E-H-E-M R-A-T-S!

All the merriment, activities, gifting and children’s plays are wonderful; good; wholesome traditions which leave wonderful memories in our minds and the minds of our children. There’s nothing really wrong with most of it…but they all kind of miss the point, don’t they!

Illus. – Imagine going to your own birthday party and no one paid much attention to you. Suppose they all brought birthday gifts, but instead of giving them to YOU, they gave them to one another. They would be missing the point, wouldn’t they? A birthday party is supposed to be for THE BIRTHDAY PERSON, right?

Illus. – On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message – WE HAVE FLOWN FOR 12 SECONDS – WE WILL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!

Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to their local small-town newspaper office, told the editor in glowing terms of her brothers’ new flying machine, and informed him they would be home for Christmas if he would like to set up an interview. He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding her brothers.

On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the SIXTH PAGE of the paper: “WRIGHT BROTHERS HOME FOR CHRISTMAS.” The most important story of the year, perhaps of the century and surely of the decade—man’s first flight—AND THE EDITOR MISSED IT!

I wonder if the same could be said about us when it comes to Christmas. Look all around us: The trees are decorated; the music is festive; the season is right. It’s Christmas, and THERE IS ONLY MORE SHOPPING DAY LEFT! In all of your rushing around, in all of your gift buying, in all the things you have to do during this season—HAVE YOU MISSED THE KEY IDEA—that Jesus is the reason for the season?

Yes, Christmas is and should be a time of merriment, joy, gift-giving, expectation and family-togetherness. But let’s not forget the “Christ” in CHRIST-mas. Let’s remember, in this season, that Christmas is about Christ—the Lord Jesus Christ.

The text we’re about to read introduces us to this person.

• Who is He?

• What did He come to do?

• What were the circumstances of His coming to this earth?

Please stand in honor of God’s Word, and follow along with me as I read Matthew 1:18-25 – “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 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. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

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