What Child Is This? (Christmas Morning)
What Child is this? Good question, what Child is this? Do we know the who’s and the what’s of this Child? Think about this for a moment our calendar tells us that with the birth of Jesus Christ history restarted. B.C. Before Christ, A.D. in the year of our Lord tells that history hinges on what happened in a small little town of Bethlehem some 2011 years ago. What Child is this that history is defined by Him?
There are two basic ways to look at the Christmas event. We can look at it under the microscope which gives us all the intricate part of Christmas and we have been doing that a little this year. Or we can look at through a telescope which produces a broad picture. When we use the microscope we tend to see the wood in a tree, but when we use a telescope we see the whole forest. There are advantages to both approaches but for this morning let’s look at the broader approach and see the whole.
Aristotle said that every play has a beginning, middle, and an end and this morning we are going to look briefly into the beginning, the middle and the end of the Christmas event; realizing the end is still in process. Because the drama of Christ’s life, death, resurrection/life defines what Child this is.
- The Beginning – way back before there was a Bethlehem, before the heavens and earth were formed this Child existed. John 1:1-3 (NIV) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
- Jesus was there from the very beginning – He was creating the universe in the beginning.
- No one else can say that He was born from a virgin. His conception was miraculous. Burt His birth was like most except there was no room for Joseph and Mary so they went to a barn to give birth. All of this was predicted by the prophets.
- Then He, God the Son, becomes the beginning when He comes to earth as a child born in the little known town of Bethlehem. The Son of God comes to earth as a human just like you and I accept He is God and we aren’t.
- He was a normal kid for that day – gets left behind in Jerusalem when He was 12 – He probably just didn’t come when Joseph whistled for Him. He was preparing for ministry by living His life.
- Life’s lessons were preparing Him for ministry. He worked in His father’s carpentry shop until He was 30. Then one of His step-brothers took over the shop as Jesus becomes an itinerant minister.
- The Middle Part of the Story deals with His 30ish years – the time He is in ministry. Those years can be defined in 3 ways: Conflict, Recognition, and then Tragedy
- Conflict 1: Jesus was continually in conflict with Satan. From His time in the wilderness when He fasted for 40 days until the cross and burial He was in conflict.
- Jesus challenged Satan by responding with strength to the temptations for physical needs
- Jesus cast out demons
- Taught His disciple how defeat evil
- Satan lost the biggest battle when Christ resurrected from the dead
Conflict 2: Jesus was intentionally in conflict with the Law and Jewish tradition.
- He called into question the religious leaders’ interpretations of the Law.
- They say He broke the Law because he healed on the Sabbath. Jesus made it clear that the Sabbath was made for people not the other way that man was made for the Sabbath.
- He forgave people’s sins.
- He associated with sinners and kept His distance from the self-righteous.
Conflict 3 Jesus struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane – wanted to remove the cup, but He did the will of God the Father. He didn’t want to die at 33 years old. He struggle with Himself.
He was in conflict with Satan, the religious and self-righteous, and He had conflict within Himself
- The Second Part of His Ministry / the Middle Ground was His Recognition: Many claimed to be disciples but were there to watch the show. They were there for the food (loaves and fishes), were there to see Him heal the sick and cast demons, and they were there to see Him confront the establishment. But some figured out who He was – like Peter, like Nicodemus who was part of the established order of Pharisees, the women who went to the tomb first, and John His beloved disciple.
- The Third Part of the Middle Act in His Story Is the Tragedy – The betrayal of Judas and others who cried to have Him crucified, the mockery of the trials, the scourging which would killed most men and the final humiliation of the cross. The tragedy was that He had to die so that we might live. It was because sin; their and our sin that required a blood sacrifice an it was Jesus who died for us. John 3:16 (NIV) 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
- The End Is Really Not the End Because There Is More to this Story: It Is Called the Triumph - He may have died on the cross but He Arose the Dead. The Triumph is fact and we can know the triumph by accepting His grace and love.
- But there is more to Christ’s story – for He promised He was coming again.
What Child Is This?
The Messiah – the One who Changed the World
The Son of God
The Lord of Lord, the King of Kings
Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.