Summary: No one pays that much attention to the wrapping. It’s what is inside that counts . . . right? Maybe this Christmas we should stop and consider how the gift was wrapped.
Pt. 4 - In Help
There is usually very little attention paid to the wrappings. Even if great time and effort is made to make sure each corner is tucked and folded perfectly. Even if the bow is picked to match exactly. Even if every seam is exact. Most of the time all the attention is paid to the content. However, over the last few weeks we have been examining the wrappers in which Jesus was packaged when "Unto us a child is born!" We have declared that He was wrapped in humanity, humility, and in hope. On this night just a few days before we celebrate His birth let us go one step further.
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured, but he didn’t say a word. Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence. Justice miscarried, and he was led off— and did anyone really know what was happening? He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people. They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man, Even though he’d never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn’t true. Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.
I. In Help
Long before (hundreds of year prior in fact) the account that we tend to glamorize and romanticize of His birth, the prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of Jesus' job description. In doing so, He makes it abundantly clear that Jesus was wrapped in help.
His prophecy informs us that Jesus would be wrapped in two kinds of help.
1. Healing Help.
Isaiah says Jesus will be bruised for our healing. He will beaten for our brokenness. The prophet Micah comes behind Isaiah and declares that Jesus will rise with healing in His wings. That is the reality that the woman with issue of blood experienced. She presses through the crowd and touches the hem of Jesus' garment. Very likely taking hold of one of the corners of Jesus' prayer shawl which is known as its wings she discovers that Jesus has the power to help us with healing. Jesus knew this about Himself when in Luke he repeats Isaiah's prophecy that He was on the scene to bring recovery of sight to the blind. Healing. He came not just to be a deliverer but a doctor. He was wounded for our healing. By His stripes we have help for healing. The writer of Hebrews says we have a high priest that has been touched by even the feelings our infirmities. The good news tonight is that Jesus can help with healing. In His quest to save our souls I am thankful He didn't overlook our bodies! He came to heal all things wrong with us.
2. Hell Help.
The prophet talks about two types of hell in his prophecy. He says that this baby will be born to take our pain. One version says He came to bear our suffering. He is equipped to handle hell called pain. Pain . . . It isn't qualified . . . Relationship pain, emotional pain, family caused pain, friend caused pain, self inflicted pain, choice pain he simply says pain! Jesus has the ability to handle your pain. David's statement about God is fleshed out in Jesus . . . Psalm 34:18 - God is close to those who are broken-hearted and crushed in spirit. And God is a very present help in the time of need or in the time of trouble. Is your life wrapped in pain? The good news is you can encounter One who is wrapped in help! Your pain is no match for His presence or His power. He can take your pain and help you to overcome and forget about your pain.