Text: Luke 1:26-33.
Delivered on: December 21, 2008. Streetsboro.
John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. John 1:14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Philippians 2:5-7. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
We have arrived at that time of year where everyone is thinking about the birth of Jesus.
While it should be noted that Christmas is not a Biblical holiday (we don’t read about it in the Bible), I am grateful that at least once a year, so many stop to think about Jesus.
Unfortunately though, I am convinced that most don’t fully appreciate the enormous importance of the birth of Jesus.
Even more tragic, most don’t respond to life and death of Jesus in the way that they should.
The birth of Jesus was a herald of many profoundly important changes that were about to take place.
This morning, let us answer the question, “What did the Birth of Jesus Mean?”
IT MEANT THAT THE FULNESS OF TIME HAD COME. Galatians 4:4. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.
“Fullness of time” is making reference to the fact that Jesus came into the world when the time was just right.
God knew before He created the world that there would be a day when He would end His Son into it. 1 Peter 1:20. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
The Old Testament is a record of the preparations that God made for the day when the fullness of time had come.
From the very first days in the Garden of Eden, we see preparation being made.
Genesis 4:3-4. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
Abel’s offering was made by faith. Hebrews 11:4. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
Why were Cain and Abel even offering sacrifices?
God was already teaching them the consequences of sin.
He was already showing the need for a sacrifice for sin.
Perhaps this is why God was not pleased with Cain’s sacrifice. God demanded a blood sacrifice for sin.
We see this preparation being made in the Law of Moses.
Hebrews 10:1-4. For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
Galatians 3:24. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
We see this preparation in the 4 great world empires.
Babylon – Contributed synagogue worship which was important in the spread of the early church.
Medes & Persians – Contributed a profound respect for law. Even the king could not alter the law once it was given. See the books of Daniel and Esther.
Grecian – Contributed a universal language.
Roman – Contributed a near global peace and system of roads for easier travel.
IT MEANT THAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN WAS AT HAND.
The Kingdom was to be established by the Son of God.
Daniel 7:13-14. “ I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.
2 Samuel 7:12-13. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Jesus, John, the 12, and the 70 all taught that the kingdom was at hand.
Jesus. Matthew 4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
John. Matthew 3:1-2. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
The 12. Matthew 10:7. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
The 70. Luke 10:8-9. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Jesus’ kingdom is His church. John 18:36. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
His kingdom was established on the first Pentecost after His resurrection.
Mark 9:1. And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
After Pentecost, the kingdom is here. Colossians 1:13. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
IT MEANT THAT THE OLD LAW WAS ABOUT TO PASS AWAY.
Some mistakenly believed that Jesus had come to destroy the Law of Moses.
He came to fulfill the law.
Matthew 5:17-18. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
All of the law pointed to Christ.
Jesus is the guarantee of a better covenant. Hebrews 7:18-22. For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is thebringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, ‘ You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’”), 22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
He is the mediator of a better covenant. Hebrews 9:11-15. But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
Hebrews 8:13. In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
IT MEANT THAT THE SACRIFICE FOR SINS WOULD SOON BE OFFERED. Matthew 1:21. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
We have already noticed that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin. Hebrews 10:4. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
It took Christ’s blood to take away our sins.
Hebrews 9:22-28. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28
so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
1 Peter 1:18-19. Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
What does Jesus birth mean to you?
Is it just an excuse to have a celebration once a year?
Or do you celebrate His birth every day of the year?