For unto us a child is born…
Come with me on a trip through time. Come with me to the time when God stepped out of eternity. Come with me to the perfect time for the savior of mankind to arrive as a human baby in His crowning achievement of creation. Come with me to the time when heaven opened up and angels from on high rejoiced in the hills of Judea.
The child of prophecy was born into this world and through His shed blood would redeem that world!
Joseph and Mary were not unlike many of us today. Joseph was a man with a work ethic who was getting ready to be married and take on the support of his new wife and later, children. Mary worked hard as well, having many chores daily and preparations for her wedding. The couple were considered as already ‘married’ for that year of engagement, though not yet ‘knowing’ each other in an intimate way.
Imagine how she felt when the angel came to visit and later, how Joseph felt when he found out that his fiance was ‘with child’! Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke 1:26-35. Please read the verses as background, then I will focus on Luke 1:35:
The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
We know these facts from the scripture reading today: Mary was chosen by God to bear the Son of God. She was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. She came from the line of David. She is blessed among women, not above women. Although being a Godly woman, it was God’s grace, not Mary’s character that made her God’s choice.
We know that Jesus was born as the Child of Prophecy. He was expected at this time in history through numerous Old Testament prophecies. We will consider two of the messianic prophecies from Isaiah. Isaiah 7:14:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
The prophecy of the messiah was due for fulfillment at any time. Unlike the future second advent, the time for this prophecy to become fact was known and expected. The Sanhedrin knew it and the Persian magi knew it as well! The virgin birth was a miracle of God that brought the eternal Son of God into the world without any taint of sin in His human nature.
Don’t let anyone tell you that the virgin birth was not literal or necessary. It is absolutely one of the conerstones of the Christian faith. Also, do not let anyone tell you that Jesus was some sort of being inferior to God, i.e. only God’s son. That ignores the context of what Christianity has always taught; it ignores the scriptural evidence and it seeks to replace the mystery of the divine, dual nature of Christ: Fully God and Fully Man! We cannot fully explain how that nature works but when we try to make it “reasonable”, we end up contradicting scripture!
The coming of the Son of God to Earth
From Isa. 9: 6-7:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. He enables personal salvation. John 3:16:
“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
YOU are responsible for your response to God. YOU can decide to accept or reject His offer of salvation. YOU cannot ‘sit on the fence’ and make no decision. No decision is the same as rejection. It is my prayer that you do accept this offer of salvation, by giving your life to Jesus Christ. This means making Him the Lord of your life and living as the Holy Spirit leads you!
Of course, we don’t know the actual day and month that the savior was born. We set aside a day to celebrate His birth and show our gratitude by displaying an attitude of generosity and charity toward one another. We are to show love to one another and love God with our hearts, minds and souls! Let this be the pattern for your life in the coming new year.
And on into eternity!!
Merry Christmas to one and all!
(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)