Summary: Why did Jesus come to this earth as a tiny baby, a die as a common criminal. What hope do we have for the future knowing that God himself was innocently crucified. This sermon is subtly hard hitting, giving hope for the future.
Note: The hymns "The sermon King" and "I cannot tell" to the tune Danny Boy are perfect for the sermon.
One of the greatest yet strangest of stories in the bible is that of almighty God coming into this world and living as we do. ... And there is an even stranger story is that he did not do better than us, as he died as a common criminal, nailed to a cross.
Ok this is from a very shallow perspective, but if you think about it, ... the great God of this universe and beyond, did come to this earth as a tiny little baby. ... He was born in a stable like an animal, ... beside the animals, ... in a country torn apart by "animals".
... Now I use the terms God and Jesus interchangeably at times because Jesus is God in human flesh, ... but could Jesus as God have done things differently? ... Because I was thinking, that if I was God, and everything in heaven and earth was mine, ... I would have chosen the finest, and most comfortable of palaces I could find, ... one with a great view; ... obviously beside the sea, ... in a stable country, with a much better climate. ... I think I would also miss out adolescence.
... And I am sure you too have your own ideas of a suitable location, ... but not Jesus, ... he, being used to all the comforts of heaven, chose a dirty smelly manger, ... so why? ... Well the writer to the Hebrews tries to answers that question today.
And to make a start, we first have to admit, that none of us here did chose the place of our birth; ... our parents did. In fact we did not even chose our parents; ... because we just didn't have that power or authority; ... yet Jesus chose his place of birth, and he even chose his earthly parents.
Can you imagine choosing our own earthly parents, eh! ... Who would we chose, ... think about it, ... and if we could, I think most of us here would pick the best parents we could, to us give us the best start in life possible. ... You may think, "well I am happy with my parents", ... no, that is not what I am getting at here, ... just imagine you could choose. ... who would they be? ...
Well, when Jesus came into the world he chose a virgin of low birth as his maternal mother, Mary, ... a handmaiden who was engaged to a carpenter, Joseph, who would become his stepfather. ... I think if we had a free choice, we would have picked parents somewhere higher up the social ladder for protection, and for the chance of greater opportunities, ... but Jesus needed no such prominent parents, because, Jesus had his paternal father in heaven watching over him, ... so any parent regardless of their status was in some ways, a necessary ... "extra". ...
And Jesus did need an earthly father in order to lead an "ordinary" life, and fit in with the community, but we know God the Father was his true father, and he was watching over him, protecting him, and guiding him by the power of the Holy Spirit. ...
So I hope you see the parallel here, because we, we who acknowledge Jesus as our Lord, also must acknowledge God as our father also, ... God who watches over us night and day. ... And the bible tells us to do that, ... to perceive God in that exact same manner, ... but do we, no we do not, because we find this hard to believe.
Yet there is a very strong and powerful statement in Romans 8 that tells us just that, verse 15 says, ... "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. ... The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, ... that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ". Just how clear can you make that? And yet we still do think of God in those terms, and we certainly do not think of ourselves in terms of being God's adopted sons, or daughters, or if we do, we struggle to believe it, ... but that is what the bible says, and that is what we are instructed to believe.
... Anyway, when Jesus came into this world, he chose a lowly cattle stable in Bethlehem, with the lowly virgin Mary of the tribe Judah for his mother. Matthew 1:23 puts it this way, "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". Notice Mary is from the tribe of Judah.