An Improbable King, Pt. 3

Selected Scriptures • Jeff Crotts •

It is fair to ask, “Why do we celebrate on Christmas on December 25?”

  • In the past, one or more of my children have quipped:

“Jesus probably was not born in December since the Shepherds were out in the fields.”  “Because of snow.”

  • Jesus also was born 6 miles south of Jerusalem. Not Alaska.
  • Jerusalem on the latitude of Sothern California.

 

  • From Luke 2, the order to register and be taxed made by Caesar Augustus typically came springtime.
    • Late March, the season called Nisan.
    • When herds of sheep in the fields - prepared for Passover.

“So, where did Christmas come from?”

  • On December 25, the “Roman Empire” held a pagan holiday linked to mystery religions.
    • Romans celebrated “Saturnalia,” the ancient winter festival.
    • The northern Europeans celebrated solstice.

 

  • In protest, Christians chose Someone greater!
    • Instead of worshipping the planets or the Sun!
    • The Son of God.
    • “The incarnation of God.”
    • God becoming flesh, the Savior!

Prophecies concerning a Messiah to be born span beyond 4 millennia.

ESV  Genesis 3:14-15 The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and adust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring1 and aher offspring; bhe shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

ESV  Numbers 24:17 aI see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: ba star shall come out of Jacob, and ca scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall dcrush the forehead1 of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.

ESV  Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the aLord himself will give you a sign. bBehold, the cvirgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name dImmanuel.

ESV  Isaiah 9:6 aFor to us a child is born, to us ba son is given; cand the government shall be dupon1 his shoulder, and his name shall be called2 Wonderful eCounselor, fMighty God, gEverlasting hFather, Prince of iPeace.

ESV  Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of aJesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

ESV  Isaiah 53:1-2 aWho has believed what he has heard from us?1 And to whom has bthe arm of the LORD been revealed?2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, aand like a root out of dry ground; bhe had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

 

ESV  Jeremiah 23:5 a"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous bBranch, and che shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.

 

ESV  Hosea 11:1 aWhen Israel was a child, bI loved him, and out of Egypt I ccalled dmy son.

 

ESV  Micah 5:1-2 1 Now muster your troops, O daughter2 of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod athey strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.2 1 aBut you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of bJudah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be cruler in Israel, dwhose coming forth is efrom of old, from ancient days.

 

After 4 millennia of God’s spoken and written revelation all pointing to Jesus, prophecies, there was 400 years of silence.

 

  • Darkness then Dawn.

 

“What is the incarnation?”

 

  • Incarnation is “enfleshing.”
  • John clearly describes in John 1:1 and 1:14.

 

ESV  John 1:1 aIn the beginning was bthe Word, and cthe Word was with God, and dthe Word was God.

 

ESV  John 1:14 And athe Word bbecame flesh and cdwelt among us, dand we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of egrace and ftruth.

 

“Not that the Son put on a human body as one puts on an overcoat” [J.I. Packer]

 

  1. What Incarnation is not

 

  • Not a human being and divine person living together under one skin.
  • Not a divine person who came to possess two sets of powers.
    • An on/off switch.
    • Flipping in an out of human or divine.

 

  1. What Incarnation is

 

  • First in Mary’s womb.
  • Then in the world, now in heaven.
  • The Son (fully divine) lives life through the mind-body complex (fully human).
    • Nothing diminished in divinity while all involved in being human - added!
    • Permanently!
    • “Why?” – Perfect, sympathetic High Priest and Mediator between God and man!

 

ESV  1 Timothy 2:5 For athere is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man1 Christ Jesus

 

“God became man; the divine Son become a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.  And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the son of God was a reality.  The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets.  Nothing in fiction is as fantastic as it this truth of the incarnation.” [J.I. Packer]

 

Jesus’ incarnation is why Christians worship him!  Why we love him.

 

  • Sin is why we hurt in this world. Period!
    • Man’s sin initiated the first prophecy (Gen. 3:15).
    • “Sin” like an incurable and terminal disease spread and plagued the entire world’s population!
    • Catastrophic Infection.

 

  • Sin immediately, at birth, marks life with a forever death, unless a cure is applied.
    • Thankfully, for children (before the age of accountability) the cure is applied!
    • However, according to the book of Romans:

 

ESV  Romans 3:23 for aall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:23 ESV)

 

ESV  Romans 6:23 aFor the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

  • The prophecies assured the world that there was a cure!
    • The cure was always Jesus.
    • Jesus, the cure, came!

 

  • Two natures came together in the birth of a baby.

 

  • This baby, the Incarnation, is Sin’s antidote.

 

Believe on Jesus to be saved!

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