December 23rd, 2012 ~ Luke 2:1-20

» Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Pastor Gene Eberhardy | 0 comments

The Christmas Story

 

Last week we looked at the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20. In verses 1-5 we looked at how the gift of Christ Jesus was given. We first looked at how suddenly the announcement was made to the young Jewish virgin named Mary, Luke 1:26-35. The angel Gabriel appeared and declared to her that she had been chosen by God for the purpose of bringing forth God’s own Son who would be the ruler of Israel. Mary said, “But I have not known a man”, to which Gabriel replied that the Holy Ghost of God would come upon her and she would be with the child. This would accomplish the prophesied “Virgin Birth” of Isaiah 7:14.
This all came to pass when the Romans had called for a tax to be levied on the citizens of Israel. To accomplish this, a census had to be taken which called for each citizen to return to the city of their birth to register and to be taxed. In this, we can see the hand of God bringing Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem just at the time of her deliverance of the child Jesus to fulfill the prophecy of Micah 5:2. This scripture declared that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem which was about a one day journey from Jerusalem.
Both Joseph and Mary lived in Galilee in the town of Nazareth which was a province of Israel in the eastern part of the country. They had to make the long journey to fulfill the appointed plan in the fullness of time, Galatians 4:4, to bring forth the Son of God, the promised Messiah. Here, on the day we celebrate as Christmas, the gift of God is given as the angels would declare to the shepherds, “Today is born unto you in the city of David which is Bethlehem a savior Christ (Messiah) the LORD.” Then suddenly the heavens were filled with angels giving glory and praise to God saying, “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The peace on earth they spoke of was not peace between men and nations but peace with men and God through the gift of the child Jesus. Jesus was born to be the sacrifice to God, Hebrews 10:1-10, that would take away the sin that separated God from man, Romans 5:6 -10. As we wrap our Christmas gifts, Jesus was wrapped in a swaddling cloth and laid in the manger waiting as the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem, to the place where the star seemed to hang out of heaven and almost touch the earth over a stable, most likely a cave in a hill side outside of Bethlehem. There these shepherds came to see the wrapped gift with their own eyes that was just as the angel had told them.
When I was a child I would usually be the first to wake on Christmas morning. I would go to the living room and look in and see the gifts that had been placed under the tree. Then, I would rush to tell my brother and sisters to get up because the gifts were wrapped and under the tree. This is what the shepherds did as they came and saw Jesus the gift of God. They went back declaring what they had seen.
This is what the church is to do. Each one of us has a personal experience with Jesus, the gift of God. When we have seen, we are to go and to declare everywhere that others may believe and receive Him as a gift of God and savior of their soul.

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