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Pastor Wayne & JoAnn Godsmark
 

Jesus- Is More

Luke 2:1-20

This week is Christmas: A holiday celebrated all around the world
Christmas means different things to different folks.

To me, Christmas is a special time. It is a day set aside to celebrate our Saviors birth, it is a time of sharing, a time of reflecting, a time of peace on earth and good will toward men. It is a time of great memories, of childhood delight, innocence and wonder. It is a time when we anticipate the future and reflect upon the past all at the same time. It is a time for families. It is a time for rejoicing, for worship and thanksgiving for the greatest gift of all. Well, I remember with perfect clarity that early morning in which I discovered who Santa Clause really was. And despite what some critics say, it did not appear to damage my psych or warp me in any way, as a matter of fact, I had a new-found love for my mom and dad, that day.
Like most traditions, like most holidays-it even has a controversial side to it.
Some Christians, are worried about it’s mixed signals and mixed origins. Some have even campaigned that we should do away with it or at least not participate in it.

 

 Christmas as we know it is a hodge-podge of ancient traditions and customs all blended together. It’s true that the early church fathers “Christianized” some pagan holidays as the Gospel was spread into “the uttermost parts of the world”. Christ wasn’t even born on Dec 25th. Many today do not even recognize the real meaning of this day. Worldly mindsets and commercialization have taken over the hearts of many. In today’s world saint Nick and Santa Clause do get more recognition than the baby in the manger. Depression and suicide run rampant at this time of the year

But none the less, despite the controversy, despite the commercialization, despite the busy shopping malls, despite the stretched out waistline, despite the stressed out shoppers, and overdrawn bank accounts, unappreciative kids, heart wrenching decisions on what to buy and where to spend Christmas eve this year. It is still, the most wonderful time of the year-to me

It is still the celebration of the beginning of the greatest story ever told. The name itself brings us back to true meaning

Christmas- “Christ- mass” Christ means the “anointed one” Mass -is a service celebrating the Eucharist, which symbolizes the body and blood of Christ- symbolic of our spiritual communion with God

Christmas as we Christians know it: is a celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Christ. A time of reflecting, a time of thanksgiving to our God, for not only the greatest story ever told, but the greatest gift ever given, God’s only Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is more than just a good story, he is more than a fond memory, he is more than a warm fuzzy feeling. He is more than a quaint tale we tell our children. He is more than a tradition to pass on to the next generation. He’s more than gift given, more than food eating, more than eggnog and mistletoe, he’s more than cold nights and a warm fire, he is more than sleigh bells and chestnuts roasting by an open fire.

The Bible says that Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE, the son of man, yet the only begotten son of God, called the divine teacher, soul winner and the great physician, he is the Bread of life and the water of life. He is the Defender of the week, light of the world, and the good shepherd
Prince of life, king, counselor, true vine, yet he was called a servant,
The giver of the Holy Spirit, great intercessor, and a model sufferer,
the uplifted savior, conqueror of death, hell and the grave.

He is called the Word, the messiah, the Christ-which means “anointed one”
True vine, the bright and morning star, the branch, the cornerstone
A prophet, a messenger, rock of offense, master Lord and Savior

He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, Lily of the valley
Alpha and the omega, which means the beginning and the end

He is my kinsman redeemer, friend, joint heir and eldest brother
He’s the risen one/first born from the dead/first fruits of the resurrection

He come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly,
he come that we be saved, sanctified, delivered and healed,
set free from the power of the enemy
destroy the works of the devil, destroy the yokes of bondage
set the captives free, heal the sick, cast out devils, cleanse the lepers,
heal the broken hearted, mend our broken lives, fix our mess
He was despised and rejected, he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows
He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities
the chastisement of our peace was upon him, with his stripes we are healed
God has laid on him the iniquity of us all, he was oppressed, afflicted
brought as a lamb to the slaughter/sheep before her shearers
cut off from the land of the living/ stricken for- transgression of his people
he was assigned a grave with the wicked and the rich in his death
The Lord bruised him/put him to grief/make his soul an offering for sin
His soul was poured out to death/numbered with the transgressors
He that knew no sin/ made to be sin for me/ he took my place upon the cross

We celebrate Christmas because of his birth/ But that’s only the beginning
Billions of men have been born/ but this man was born to die.
His birth, his life was no accident, neither was his death
With precise timing/detail, specifically, purposefully born into this world

the details of his birth are very important, As Christians we need to understand & be able to explain and defend these truths

1. He was the fulfillment of a promise/God made in the garden Gen. 3:14-15
V.15 I will put enmity between thee/women, thy seed/her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel

He was the reality of the shadows of the old testament, (not an accident)
a. Garden/ God killed an animal/shed it’s blood/ covered man-skin
b. The sacrifices/altar/temple/rituals/law all shadows

Jesus was the reality, the actual form/ not he shadow
He was the fulfillment of all the prophetic utterances of the messiah

2. Virgin Birth- Jesus was God/ yet man, Second Adam/ last Adam
a. God gave authority of earth to man/ man gave it to Satan
b. Jesus had to come as a man/ destroy the works of Satan
c. Mary, qualified him in his humanism
d. Conceived by the seed of the Holy Ghost/superceded the curse/ qualified him in his Holiness

Creation- God took the dust / formed a body/ breathed life into it.
Immaculate Conception/ took the dust again/ formed/ breathed life

And there was a baby born and is name was Jesus,
Emmanuel -God is with us

He was a king yet born in a stable,
He was royalty, but lived among common folks
He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, yet came with nothing
He is the Glory of the universe, but was greeted by shepherds
He was the greatest, yet became the least
He never failed, faltered or miss the mark, yet he became sin

He loves those who hate him, esteems those who despise him
He embraces those who betray him/reaches out to those who walk away from him
He forgives those who wrong him/turns the cheek on those who slapped him
He died in the place of those who crucified him

We all, like sheep have gone astray, each has gone his own way, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one

But he came to seek and save that which was lost, that whosoever should believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He came into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved

Christmas is a glorious time, a wonderful holiday, a celebration of the greatest gift ever given/ greatest story ever told/greatest love known

Today, Search your hearts, do you understand the meaning of Christmas
Do you know the Christ/messiah/anointed one of which we speak
Do you know the one for which this season/this holiday is named
Do you really know the Christ of the Mass
Do you understand that he came for you, love you
Do you really understand that he was born in a manger, so that he could die on a cross

In closing I want to remind you of the scripture we read in Luke

Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy. which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying; Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward man
v. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen.

 

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