Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Incarnation: A Christmas Miracle

Title: The Incarnation: A Christmas Miracle
Theme: Christ becoming Flesh and what it means
Goal: To help believers understand Christ and the lost believe

Sometimes we hear or use the phrase, “The Miracle of Christmas.” Sometimes we see that phrase in the title of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Where some girl comes to town in December, meets a guy she doesn’t like and falls in love. Every. Time!     
Of course, we know that’s not the Christmas miracle!
In fact, there are many miracles associated with Christmas or the birth of Jesus Christ!
Some have listed 7 Christmas miracles: Annunciation: Gabriel tells Mary; Conception: The Beginning of the Christ Child; The Explanation: Gabriel appears to Joseph; Incarnation: God takes on flesh (which is what incarnation means); The Declaration: Angels appear to Shepherds; The Agreement: Between The Father and the Son (Heb 10); The Visitation: The Wise men were led to Jesus, just as all who come to him are led to Him.
But really, the miracles don’t start with the Angel appearing to Mary! How about the Prophecies of the coming Messiah?
Those are miraculous, right?! 
Jeremiah said he would be the Lord our righteousness! A Righteous branch out of the house of David! (Jer 23:5-6)
Isaiah said the people who walk in darkness would see a great light! He will reign on the Throne of David, be called Prince of Peace and Almighty God! (Isa 9:2-7)
Micah said – and get this, he would be born in Bethlehem and yet his going forth is from eternity! And he will shepherd his flock and be Our Peace!
And again, Isaiah, tells us he will be born of a virgin and be called Immanuel – God with Us! (Isa 7:2)
We have heard these things so often we forget how amazing these things are! A Virgin would conceive!  HE will be God and yet born a man! He told us the Village! He told us some of his titles and ministries! And we didn’t even get to Isa 53 or Psalm 22 that tell of His sacrificial death!
But there’s one miracle I mentioned earlier, that I want to focus on. I’m going to wax a little “theological” but you can follow me, and you may already know this, at least I hope you do!
  Along with the Miraculous appearance of Jesus in Mary’s womb, something incredible was happening. The miracle of IMMANUEL! God With Us! God became flesh and dwelt among us! John said:1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only begotten Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
  Have you wondered why Jesus wrestled with His death in the Garden when He knew He’d come to earth for this moment?
  How about when Jesus said, no man knows the time of His return except the Father? (Mt 24:36) I mean, He is God right?
  Ill) Last Sunday the Golden Heirs sang a Christmas Musical. It had some great songs, but one of them drove me a little crazy! It wasn’t a bad song, and it kinda folded into Away in a Manger which was really nice. But the song was called, are you ready?  It was called “Was he quiet or did he cry?”
  It's talking about the baby Jesus. Was he a quiet baby or did he sometimes cry? Now, that’s not a bad question. BUT! The song never answered that question!  Let me answer it.    Ready?
Jesus, as a baby, cried! HE had the brain of a baby!
Let’s go back a bit and approach this from the Bible.
NOW – I KNOW this question has been keeping you awake at night! But the reason behind my answer is part of the Christmas Miracle and it really does matter!  And I’ll show you why!
   First, Jesus is not just a man, and he is not just God. HE is the God/man! There is no other person like him in the universe!
These Old Testament prophecies talked about how a man would be born who is from eternity! But only God is eternal! He is “God With Us.”
   But the OT doesn’t explain much about what that means. Jewish scholars actually wondered if there would be two messiahs! One human and one Divine. And the fact Jesus was both was difficult for them to wrap their brains around.
  Then, in the year 451, there was an important Church Council. The Council of Chalcedon. Now the early church held several councils and each time they addressed false teachings that were going around.
In those days some said that Jesus was just a man that God Adopted. Others said no, he is God and he just appeared to be a man; he just “seemed” to die on the cross! Still, others said, No, he is the God/man, but he has one nature, it is both human and divine. But that idea led to other problems like, why did he sweat drops of blood in Gethsemane or say he didn’t know when He was coming back? They would have us believe that Jesus had a divine human nature or a humanly divine nature. But Then, how could He DIE? God can’t die!
  So, the Council met and discussed the scriptures. Remember, by 451 the New Testament was fully formed and they had the same scriptures we do! So, what do you do with verses showing both Jesus’ human nature and His Divine nature?
Listen as I read just a few short verses. (Col 2:9, Heb 1:3, 4:15)

Col 2:9 (NKJV) “For in Him (Jesus the man) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;”

Heb 1:3 (NKJV) Speaking of Jesus: “Who being the brightness of His glory (God the Father) and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”
Heb 4:15 (NKJV)"For we do not have a High Priest (Jesus) who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." 

  The Council came up with a formula that we use to this day. In part of their long document, they said this: Jesus is truly man and truly God. We sometimes say “Fully” God and man, or “100” God and man. But “TRULY” expresses the two natures of Christ.
   But, his two natures are neither Mixed together nor are they divided. They don’t trade their attributes. The Divine nature isn’t a little bit human. The human nature isn’t a tiny bit divine. Jesus Christ’s human nature had a beginning. His Divine nature is eternal. The human nature of Christ could cry over the death of Lazarus and the grieving family, but His Divine nature would soon raise Lazarus from the dead!
  His Human nature looked on the coming crucifixion and receiving His Father’s wrath with great tribulation of the soul! But the Divine Son of God had already, in eternity past, said Yes to His Father. Heb 10:5…when Christ came into the world, he
said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. 7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God…”
Within Our Lord Jesus Christ, there is the Miracle of Two complete natures. His human nature knows exactly what it means to be tempted and His divine nature gives us the power to resist!

His human nature knows what it means to grieve! His divine nature is the God of all Comfort!
His Human nature Wept! His human nature sweat drops of blood. He was tired and hungry and weak and beaten and suffered and DIED!
His divine nature was consistently perfect, loving, and NEVER died. Don’t look at the cross and say that’s where God died! God never died! Jesus, our redeemer, died! Jesus the man died. Jesus Paid our debt. Took our place. Bought our forgiveness and Secured YOUR SALVATION For All Eternity!
We have this Great High Priest! Who understands us because He walked with us and experienced us!
THAT is the Miracle of Christmas. The WORD BECAME FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US…


Have you experienced the Glory of Christ? You can.
In your heart, Fall on your face before the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins, receive His forgiveness, repent from living life your way, and follow Jesus forever!