These are some of the notes I will use for tomorrow’s message – part 3 of Simply Christmas at Maranatha Church.
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 KJV)
Getting stoked about Christmas this time of year is one thing, but being impacted by Christmas all year long – now that’s difficult to attain!
The message of Christmas is so huge, it simply has to make a difference in our lives every day!
How do we keep Christmas beyond the few weeks surrounding the holiday?
An indicator of things to come:
Luke 2:34-35 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” (NLT)
The prophet was giving a hint as to what lies ahead for Jesus.
And it did not sound very promising, did it?
There is a declaration, made by angels, that identified Jesus with a particular title, with a responsibility.
A name that is given to no one else.
A Savior is Born:
Luke 2:8-12 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (NIV)
One of the same angel told Joseph (about Jesus)
Matthew 1:21 “He will save the people from their sins.”
Greek scholars use the word “sozo” (sode’-zo); to Deliverer. One who saves, protects, or makes whole.
Look at the specificity of God’s plan:
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. (NIV)
“Redeem”: to buy up, ransom; to rescue from loss.
Where would all of this saving and redemption happen?
It would not happen while Jesus was a baby in the manger.
It would happen 33 years later.
Salvation and redemption would happen at the cross:
Matthew 20:28 “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NIV)
Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (NIV)
Here is why God gave Jesus the name and title which is above every other name:
Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIV)
What is the most appropriate symbol of Christmas?
I believe the greatest symbol of Christmas is the Cross.
The cross is vital to the story of the Gospel.
And here is the Gospel:
God sent his Son Jesus, born of a virgin.
He lived and loved and changed the world.
He died a gruesome death on the cross.
Jesus resurrected on the third day and came out of His grave.
Jesus is alive forever and now sits enthroned in heaven.
Jesus will one day come again to take His followers to be with Him in heaven.
Embracing the eternity of Christmas –
Cling to the eternal symbol of Christmas – the cross of Jesus Christ.
You will then be able to keep Christmas every day of your life.