Christmas Eve 2013 - The Question that Demands an Answer

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Turn in your Bibles to Luke 2:1;

 

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

 

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[a] who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

May God bless the reading of His word.

 

Let us pray.

 

In these two fleeting paragraphs is recorded one of the most monumental propositions of all time. The proposition that God became man and, being born in the most humble of circumstances, went on to change the world forevermore.

 

It is a proposition that demands sincere investigation, investigation that we do not take enough time to contemplate because we are too busy engaging in the “festivities” surrounding the celebration of this event.

 

Seriously!

 

During the days and weeks coming up to this celebration, how much time have you spent considering the fact that the Creator of the Universe, the One Who spoke all things into existence, emptied that part of Himself of all His power and all His majesty in order to bring you His most intimate message, in person?

 

Indeed, have you ever asked yourself how it is that the Uncreated God, from whence all creation emanates became man and dwelt among men?

 

It is no small thing.

 

It is a proposition that is far greater than that infant, born of godly but poor parents, lying in a manger.

 

Unlike any other child who has been born in all of history, the existence of Jesus demands not only our attention, but His birth, His life, His death and yes, His resurrection, demand an answer more than any other question that you will ever face in all of life.

 

Historians do not dispute that Jesus lived.

 

The circumstances of His birth itself are of no consequence, and yet Angels herald His arrival.

 

His parent's social status is of no note. Indeed we entirely lose track of Joseph, His earthly “father,” for want of a better word, and yet Jesus is hailed as King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

His success, in earthly terms, leaves little to regard. He did not amass wealth or power. He lived a simple life traveling the countryside with no home of His own, and yet tens of thousands followed Him across the Jewish countryside receiving both His teaching and His healing.

 

Indeed, there is little of note when it comes to this Man born in the humblest of surroundings and growing up in the same, and yet western calendars never fail to remind us of the fact that Jesus lived, for we differentiate time itself from that which was before Christ, to that which is in the year of our Lord.

 

Such powerful ideas can not be shoved into the “I'll deal with it some other time” place in our minds. Jesus' existence, the celebration of His birth, demand an answer now. For to dismiss the question of “Who is this Man” is to avoid the most pressing question that all men face, “Why do we exist?”

 

Embodied in Jesus is the answer.

 

The simple answer is that you exist because God created you, that you might glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

 

Jesus, God incarnate, came into this world as God's Salvation, prepared before the face of the peoples, a light unto the Gentiles and the glory of Israel to remind us of this message, in person.

 

He taught with authority about the kingdom of Heaven, the nature of God, and in His life and death He proved the love of God for His sheep.

 

His Resurrection is the testimony to the truth of the teaching which He brought to mankind.

 

The question is, how do you respond?

 

Will you explore the evidence, or dismiss it out of hand because it does not concern you?

 

Will you truly face the truth that God became man in order to speak to mankind face to face, and then to die for mankind as the payment for its rebellion against its Creator, or will you have another cup of eggnog and leave Jesus there in that nativity scene, unimposing and of no consequence to your daily life?

 

Certainly, mankind has done everything that it can to drown out the bothersome question of God become man.

 

We have placed the celebration of His birth upon a pagan holiday celebrating the lengthening of days, hoping to bury it in the superstition of men who feared the elements, because they did not know the Creator.

 

We have buried His birth deep in tinsel and wrapping paper, hoping to bury the proposition that God became man in the senselessness of commercialism and materialism.

 

We have inundated His birth in lights and shining balls in the hopes that these lights will out shine Him Who the Bible calls the Light of the world.

 

But when you put all those things away, and pack the baby in the manger away until next year you cannot put away the truth, as hard as you may try, for Jesus Christ is the Word of God.

 

The Apostle John writes so beautifully in chapter 1 verses 14-18 of his gospel;

 

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.

 

15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

 

16 And[e] of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f] who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 

I don't need to speak of sin and failings, we are all too familiar with those. The Holy Spirit testifies to each of us of our inadequacies, if we will truthfully listen. The truth according to God's word is that those failings separate us from God and we cannot enter into a relationship with Him until they have been paid for.

 

Jesus came as that payment.

 

He is God's unmerited favor, His grace, toward us who have have ignored Him, put Him in the very back of our minds and tried to live our lives pretending that the One Who created everything is of no importance.

 

How absurd.

 

All creation exists, you yourself exist, for God's glory and God's glory alone.

 

Jesus is not some random prophet, or good man that can be dismissed any more than we can dismiss the truth that God exists. All creation testifies to His creative power and absolute right to receive all glory and honor and praise.

 

The only question is, will you confront this truth, so starkly made real by God's becoming flesh and dwelling among us, or will you pack the question away with the lights, the tinsel and the creche?

 

 

Let us pray.

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