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. The miracle of Christmas

THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS

 

Isaiah 53:1-2 (ESV) 1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

 

Introduction

 

25 December is the day on which we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are many myths around the day, and many rituals and stuff that most of us due to our traditions embrace that actually have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. Santa has zippo to do with Christ and any thought that he may represent God the Father is sacrilegious. All of that has to do with Saint Nicholas and his bringing of gifts to children on Christmas day. The tree has nothing to do with the birth of Christ, and even the exchanging of gifts. But at the end of the day, it is a great day, a day of celebration, a day in which families come together, a day in which we show our love to one another, and a day in which we come together to remember that there was a day that our Saviour came to this earth, and it was a pivotal day, a day that caused all our calendars to be set back to before Christ or after Christ. I love what Spurgeon had to say about the day. He said: “We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give thanks to God for the gift of His dear Son.”

 

When I think of the miracle of Christmas, I think of the Continental Divide in the Northwest of USA. The Continental Divide of the Americas also known as the Great Divide, is the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas. The Continental Divide extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellan, and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean. So, a drop of water falling on the western side begins its down flow to the Pacific Ocean, and a drop of water that falls on the eastern side starts its flow down to the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The birth of Jesus Christ as far as human history is concerned is such a divide. It is the watershed of human history. It divides the events of the past and future. It was and always will be the greatest pivotal event in history.

 

And yet, this baby that changed history, that determines our dating of our own birth, was not born in a way that we would have expected.

 

This we see in our key verse which I want to open up a little bit for you this morning.

“2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”

 

This verse sounds so unlike our view of Christ doesn’t it? All of you would take offence this morning if I said to you that the greatest person who ever lived had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire Him.

 

When He began His life in Nazareth as a local village boy He was doing well. Yet when he ministered in Nazareth He was rejected. He was like a root out of dry ground. Dry ground is the most unlikely place for a root to grow. The Messiah came not as full-grown but as a baby. He was not born in a mansion but a manger, not to a kingly family, but to a virgin.

 

He grew up out of dry ground, yet He was the fairest of ten thousand, the lily of the valley, the Cedar of Lebanon, the Rose of Sharon. If you look at the soil He grew from, you stand amazed. You could no more account for Him to be the King of Kings than to explain a flower growing on your paving back at home. Let me just share a few short thoughts to help you comprehend this truth.

 

Point 1. There was nothing in His family to account for Jesus.

 

Heredity is a real factor in our lives. We sometimes make too much of it. If you look at His genealogy, there were quite a few rotten apples in His genealogy. Sure, He was a descendant from King David but so were multitudes of others. He grew up in a good family, and did not compare to His siblings, but His family was not really the place you would expect the King of Glory to be born. As far as His family were concerned He was a root out of dry ground.

 

Point 2. There was nothing in His environment to Account for Jesus.

 

Our environment next to our heredity accounts much for what we are. We often claim that we are a product of our society and time. The atmosphere in which we live, and the company we keep, contributes so much to who we are. Jesus grew up in an ordinary village. His father was but a carpenter. There was nothing in His upbringing to explain Him. As far as His environment was concerned, He was a root out of dry ground.

 

Point 3. There was nothing in the time He lived that could account for Jesus.

 

Many a genius lived in the same time frame, influenced by many factors. The time frame in which He lived as a spiritual giant was a barren time. He was born at the back of 400 years of silence, where God did not seem to speak. For 400 years there was no prophetic voice in Israel. Formal religion was filled with legalism and hypocrisy. While the religious were awaiting the coming Messiah, they did not see the root out of dry ground as the one they were waiting for, the ‘ergomai’ which translated from Greek was the coming one. That is why John the Baptist cried from prison, are you the ‘ergomai, or should we be expecting somebody else. As far as religious thought  was concerned He was a root out of dry ground.

 

Point 4.  There was nothing in His race to account for Jesus.

 

Out of the Jewish race many spiritual leaders were born, but none of them could produce the results that He did. They excelled in law, wisdom, poetry and prophecy, but none were like Jesus. None could be called the Messiah. He belonged to the Human race, God become man. Many spoke the truth but He was the truth. Many claimed to enhance life, but he was life. Many offered a door, but He was the door. In the midst of a corrupt world, He lived a perfect life. Micah 5:2 (ESV)2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.”

 

Paul summarized this so well. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV) 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” So as far as the race and nationality of Jesus is concerned He was a root out of dry ground.

 

Point 5. Yet He was the Great Divide of History.


I don’t have time to elaborate on this point, but let me just put it out there to show you just how radical the birth of Christ was. All of what I shared above are contained in that one point of history which in this graph is seen by the image of the cross. God existed, He glorified Himself, and was self-sufficient in His own being as He is the great I am, but yet He made mad, a little lower than the angels, to exist for His Glory, to alongside the heavens to declare His glory, man failed and fell into sin, so God chose for Himself one people group Israel, and He would be their God and they would be His people. Through this nation He will make the gentiles jealous, as they see God showing Himself forth through this people. However they were not faithful and in Jeremiah 3:8 God gives them a certificate of divorce. He crushes them and in Jeremiah 18 God extends His grace to Judah by offering to remould them with the warning that they are following the ways of Israel. They were unfaithful, and by the time of Daniel we only have a remnant left. Then for 400 years it is as if God withdraws His hand from history and does not speak. There are no prophets in Israel. All of this was a downgrade.

 

Suddenly, as a root out of dry ground appears our Messiah, the King of Glory, and the Creator of the World and He becomes the watershed of the nations, the Great Divide between the Old and the New Testament. He is the God-man Jesus Christ, born from a virgin, and He chooses 12 disciples and He walks with them, through miracles demonstrates that He is God, and they become 70 and the 70 become a 120 together on the day of Pentecost. On this day 3000 came to saving grace and the church is born, and God enters into a covenant with His church, that He will be our Father and we will be His children, and He mandates the church to reach the nations, and in the end in the book of Revelation we see before the throne, a great multitude that nobody can count from every tribe, and tongue and nation, worshipping the Lamb who is none other than that baby who was born in a manger 2000 years ago.

It was a glorious day when God created man. It was even a more glorious day when God became man. He made man in His image, but came in the image of man. That is the miracle of Christmas that we celebrate today.

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church 25 December 2015