Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1, 12
The first Christmas was the sweetest, greatest, most profound, and stupendous event ever recorded. There are great days mentioned in the Bible, but none of them can ever compare with the birth of Christ. Some of these great days and events consist of: The Passover, the Red Sea, the water pouring from the rock, the crossing of the Jordan, the manna, and the day the sun and moon were stopped. These all pale in significance in comparison to the day God came to earth as a babe of Bethlehem. The world has mutilated Christ’s birthday and it has become a time for family reunion, a time of revelry, and a license for intemperance and indulgence. It has been commercialized beyond recognition.
Saint Nicklaus has replaced the Savior and Santa Claus has replaced the Christ. He is the unwanted Christ, the forgotten Christ. He is despised and rejected of men. Christendom has tried to make Christmas beautiful. It has created sacred symbols, nativity scenes and made up lovely carols. Despite all this dressing up, Christendom has missed the mark. Most see the extraneous things and fail to see Christ, the Savior of the world. [Tell the story of the Last Supper and Leonardo da Vinci.]
The Unwanted Christ
Who was this babe that was born at Christmas? “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Isaiah said that He was wonderful, distinguished, excelling all others, unique, unparalleled, the mighty God, the fullness of the Godhead, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. He is the Lord of glory, the Alpha and Omega, the Son of the Highest, the Savior of the world, Emmanuel, the Light of the world, and the Life of men. This is what God thought of His Son.
What do you think of Christ?
The two responses are (1) Away with him, or (2) I will receive Him as my personal Savior. God had not spoken to the world for 400 years. Then, in one act, He emptied heaven and revealed the unfathomable fountains of His love to earth. “Unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
We opened this section of our talk by asking the question, “Who was this babe?” To supplement the biblical evidence, the poet wrote of “the incomparable Christ.” He is the Man of eternity, the Man of History, the Man of Deity, and the Man of Destiny, who is destined to rule the world. He is “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Thirty years after His birth, the babe of Bethlehem, the Man of Sychars’ well, and the stranger of Galilee became the Man of Calvary.
The Lord’s beautiful life ended abruptly in a scene of unparalleled brutality. [Contrast babyhood and manhood.] The true meaning of Christmas is that the love of God was revealed to mankind (see John 3:16, Romans 5:8). The incarnation and the redemptive work of Christ should never be separated.
John 3:17 - “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might have life.”
2 Corinthians 5:9 - “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.”
Matthew 1:21 - “Thou shalt call His name Jesus.”
The Message of Christmas
Luke 2:11 - “For unto us is born this day a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 19:10 - “For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Acts 4:12 - “Neither is there salvation in any other […]”
John 1:12 - “To as many as received Him, to them gave he the power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
We should come like the wise men, bringing our gifts and worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. “O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” Christ died for our sins. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried and was raised again on the third day according to the Scriptures. [Give the plan of salvation at this point.]
Our Lord has now ascended and sits in glory at God’s right hand. He has promised to come again. First, He will come to rapture the Church. Then, He will come to earth a second time. At this time, “The heavens shall glow in splendor, but brighter far than they; the saints shall shine in glory, as Christ shall then array. But the beauty of the Savior shall dazzle every eye, in the crowning day that’s coming by and by.” “He was born that man no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth.” May we sing, “Glory to the new-born King.”
An Illustration for the Incomparable Christ
Leonardo da Vinci was a wonderful painter, and one of his masterpieces was “The Last Supper,” which has been called the most perfect composition in the history of painting in all ages. It was painted on a convent wall, and the artist put all his talent into it. Even the cup the Lord used was perfect, an ornate golden vessel richly set with jewels. When he completed the picture he admitted a few friends to see it.
“What a wonderful cup!” they exclaimed. “How it sparkles, such a cup was never painted before.” The painter immediately splashed some dark paint over the glittering chalice and made it look like an ordinary vessel. Da Vinci said, “The glory of Christ, and not the beauty of the cup, must be the central object of the painting.”