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Christmas Sermon 2011

2 Parts
Today is Christmas and it s a day of anticipation and expectation. We have been
waiting to give and to receive while we watch the faces of others to see their
excitement. The promise of the joy of opening Christmas gifts has become a
reality. Have the promises been what you expected?
When God makes a promise we can be sure of three things.
1. He will not forget.
2. He will follow through.
3. He expects us to trust in him while he adjusts the timing.
The promise that we are looking at today is the promise of the Messiah, the Christ,
the deliver, the sacrificial lamb, the word, the bread, the life, the door, the vine, it is
the promise of God incarnateGod in flesh Immanuel.
See, none of the rest of this would make any difference if it were not for The
Promise. History begins with the anticipation of His coming, and it will end with
His return.
It was not kept a secret but also not fully revealed as to how the promise would
come and what his role would be. There are scriptures that pointed to a Kingly
Messiah.
Psalms 2:6-8, 68:18, 118:22
Isaiah 9:6-7, 32:1-3, 42:1-4
Jeremiah 23:5
Daniel 2:44, 7:13-14
Micah 5:2
Zechariah 6:12-13, 9:9-10
Malachi 3:1
And there are passages that refer to a suffering Messiah.
Psalms 22:18, 69:21
Isaiah 50:6, 52:14, 53:1-10 (page 625)
Daniel 9:26
Zechariah 11:12, 12:10, 13:7

This caused so much confusion among the people that Jesus preferred to be called
The son of man as it was the term for the Messiah that had the least baggage
associated with it.
Along with this are the passages of prophecy and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ
ranging from
him being born of a woman,
to being born in Bethlehem,
to not having bones broken,
his resurrection and ascension
and through all of this people were their as witnesses and later they provided
testimony.
Now I want you to think of what it would have been like to have been there when
The Promise was among them. We know that Jesus had to have been born and we
have some detail about the situation around that day but we know that no day was
set aside for his birth unlike the day set aside to commemorate his resurrection.
I want you to really pay attention to this next sentence: It is special to be there
when the promise moves from a promise to a reality. What has been waited for
with anticipation is now received with thankfulness. And so I close this part of the
sermon today asking you to think of two things:
1. Take some time to think about how your heart and mind felt when you
met the promise the first time. Think of your thankfulness for what Christ has
done in your life and the joy of a new and sinless life under his care.
2. Take some time to read of the promises that he has in store for you yet.
He will never leave us or forsake us, he will continue to mediate for us, and one
day he will take us home to a place of no tears or sorrow.
It is a blessing to know that God does not break his promises.
Enjoy the blessing of the promise,
take time to be thankful for Christ in your life,
and marvel at the preciousness of the gift.

PART 2: The Gift.


We are looking at the ultimate gift God becoming flesh and walking the earth,
the arrival of the promised messiah.
Lets start looking at the texts today by looking at Matthew 1:18-2:18 (Page 1497).
MT 1:18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary
was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found
to be with child through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was a
righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to
divorce her quietly.
MT 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your
wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give
birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his
people from their sins."
MT 1:22

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him
Immanuel" --which means, "God with us."
MT 1:24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded
him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she
gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
MT 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod,
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has
been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship
him."
MT 2:3

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law,
he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they
replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
MT 2:6 " `But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among
the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of
my people Israel.' "
4

MT 2:7

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact
time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a
careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too
may go and worship him."
3

MT 2:9

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had
seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child
was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house,
they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped
him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of
incense and of myrrh.
12

And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to
their country by another route.
MT 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.
"Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there
until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
MT 2:14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for
Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the
Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
MT 2:16

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was
furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who
were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned
from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
MT 2:18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping
for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
The other main text is Luke 2:1-20 (Page 864).
So that is it. These are the scriptures that tell us of how the gift came into this
world. People were quite confused because the package was too normal and did
not have anything special about it. It was not even a plain wrapped present. He
came as a brown bag with nothing to draw men to himself (Isaiah 53) but his
mothers reaction was different because she knew that the contents of the package
were of great value and so she treasured these things in her heart.
The Priests were expecting a chosen priest to lead them. One part of the common
people was waiting for the King to rise up and remove the Romans. Some were
expecting a figure like an angel to come but what they get is a baby boy, born in a
barn because his family is shunned. The package confused the people but the
packaging does not dictate the value of the contents.
Now I am going to personalize this and move from preaching to meddling. Do you
realize that you are the package and Christ is the content? When people watch
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how you live they are to have insight into what is truly inside but if the package
turns people away they will not get to the content. This is not a call to be ornate
and flashy, and false, but a call to not push people away. It is a call to have a
pleasant attitude, be compassionate, and to be salt and light.
In two weeks we begin a series about seeing the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of
others so that we can see if He is active in our lives.