Traditions, a Tree, Presents and More
When you hear the word Christmas, we think of many things:
Some are family traditions, some are cultural traditions and some are memories of the past.
Tonight we are going to begin at a place that is very familiar to most (if not all) of us. It’s a familiar story. Some of us could recite it. Most of us could tell it. But tonight we are going to take the next step and dive a little deeper into why Christmas is important.
Last week, JTosh talked about the prophecies that were fulfilled by the birth of Christ. He spoke of how Christ’s arrival on Earth was the original Divine Interruption in the timeline of humanity. Tonight we are going to dwell on why the birth of Christ matters from an eternal perspective. To do that, we must take a look at His life and see what makes Him so unique, so worth celebrating.
Obviously, we cannot retell everything about Jesus’ life, so I thought maybe we could start right where Linus left off in the “Christmas story” and work our way through some of the events of Christ’s life.
There are certain moments in Jesus' life that are directly tied to the Temple. As a Jew, there were certain activities that the Law demanded during His life on Earth.
7 Days Old – Luke 2:21
Christ was circumsized.
40 Days Old - Luke 2:25-40 (references Exodus 13:2,12 ; Leviticus 12:8)
Christ was first proclaimed by a man to be God's Promised Salvation and as a Light to the Gentiles. The first pronunciation of how God intended for Salvation to reach all men.
29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,12 Years Old - Luke 2:41-52
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."
Christ is "Lost" at the Temple
Christ first publicly proclaims who He is - God.
48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you."33 Years Old – One Week Before His Death - Luke 19:45-48
49 "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Jesus Drive the Money Changers out of the Temple
Small Group Questions
Read Luke 19:10. What did Jesus say was His purpose for being alive?
Romans 3:23 & Roman 6:23 make it clear that all are lost.
Read carefully through John 3:14-21 and answer the following:
• Does Christ reveal how He will die?
• What was God’s purpose for sending Christ?
Romans 5:17-21 speaks of two men.
• Who is the disobedient man mentioned in this passage?
• What is the result of the actions of the second man?
• What is the importance of Christ’s being fully human, yet fully God?
• Why was Christ born according to this passage?
• What do we as Christians get out of His birth?
When we think about these verses, do they increase the importance of what we are celebrating at Christmas? How so?
Does thinking about Christmas as the day God began your adoption process change your perspective at all?
Bonus Question - Does Jesus care if we say Merry Christmas or not?
We’ve established why Jesus came to live on the earth for 33 years.
Now let’s look at what He accomplished for all eternity.
At the Moment of His Death - Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38
The Temple curtain is torn in two
- This had separated the Israelites from God.
- Only the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies to offer the sacrifice on Israel's behalf.
- Without the curtain, there was no way for a proper sacrifice to be offered.
- Without the curtain, there was no way separate the world from God.
- The curtain was ripped apart from top to bottom, something no man could do.
- The Law demands blood to cover and eliminate sin
- Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people
- Jesus took on human for for this purpose
- Jesus offered one sacrifice (Himself) and then sat down because the atonement was complete
- Jesus is the High Priest
- Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice, Himself
- Jesus is the cornerstaone of our faith and finisher of our faith
1. Christ was born in order to fulfill Old Testament prophecies about His birth and death.
2. Christ knew His purpose and lived purposefully.
3. Christ accomplished His life’s mission.
4. We have been adopted into his family and given new life.
It is impossible to celebrate Christmas without the Cross.
Tell the birth story.
Remember the baby.
Study the Man.
Repent at the Cross.
Live as a redeemed child of God.