More than a Baby

By Bobby Blakey on December 24, 2014

Luke 2:8-14

AUDIO

More than a Baby

By Bobby Blakey on December 24, 2014

Luke 2:8-14

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:02] Cute factor was off the charts there.

[00:00:05] You got to love the zeal, although I'm not sure all of them had all the right words, 100 percent or all the right notes. You're welcome, sir. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:00:15] Yeah, sometimes it's fun to hear kids sing the Christmas carols, the Christmas classics, because the way they sound to kids isn't really the way that they were supposed to go. Right. Like one of these Christmas productions where there was a kids' choir, one of the kids shouted out, Joy to the world. The Lord has gone. Yes.

[00:00:36] Who doesn't want that? You know, he's got gum for everybody. Another kid was very excited when he found out that they were singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing. And the Smooth Angels were gonna be doing some BeeGees in the background.

[00:00:53] One thing that I've heard kids say one time was, oh, come Froggy Faithful. Not really sure where that came from, but it's fun when kids kind of miss. Mess up the words a little bit or they get something wrong. But it's not funny when the kid is singing o come let us say ignore him. See, that one doesn't feel quite as good. Right or joy to the world. The savior reigns let men their songs employ as the kid belts it out. Let men their sins in joy.

[00:01:26] That's kind of an awkward moment.

[00:01:28] See the difference between kind of missing a word or messing up a song and completely missing the point of Christmas and a sad reality is that we're here to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But there are people that we know in our family and on our streets and all over this city of Huntington Beach who are going to completely miss that Jesus Christ was born to save them from their sins. And I want to make sure that we don't miss it. Someone ask you to grab your Bible. Hopefully you got it with you. And we're going to spend a little time looking at the story of Luke, Chapter two versus eight to 14. So please grab your Bible and turn with me to Luke, chapter two versus eight to 14. And we're going to read the Christmas story. And let's try not to act like we've already heard this before or we know it all. We're talking about an infinite, eternal God, humbling himself to being born as a baby, the miracle of the incarnation. There's plenty that none of us have thought through as we come to this Christmas story. So try to look at it with fresh eyes with me. Luke chapter to start with me in verse a Luke chapter two verse say says it in the same region.

[00:02:41] There were shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their flock by night, and an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shown around them. And they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, Fear not for behold. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David.

[00:03:07] Three different things. It describes Jesus as here a savior who is Christ the Lord.

[00:03:13] And this will be a sign for you. You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was, with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.

[00:03:37] And I love if you're familiar with Charlie Brown Christmas. Anybody ever seen Charlie Brown Christmas before? I love it here. We're watching an animated show about it. Dogs clearly designed for children.

[00:03:49] And when Linus quotes that passage, see, there's a profundity that you cannot deny. And nobody even says anything after the passage is quoted. There's just a moment of silence, even if we're talking about an animated movie for children. And there's a certain amount of respect for what is being said here, that God has been born among us.

[00:04:13] And there's three things that it says about Jesus that I want to draw your attention to. And these words might just kind of run altogether. But I want you to really try to elevate Hugh, who this baby is in your mind, and make sure you have a high view of Jesus Christ. I want to zero in tonight on verse eleven where it says For Unto You is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord. Those are really three different titles for Jesus Christ. Three different things that he came to do. So I don't know if you found that hand out if you want to take notes at Christmas Eve. But at least try to track with me three different names. It gives for Jesus. The first one is savior. Jesus is savior. In fact, I don't know if this comes to your mind right away, but when you hear the name Jesus, just like maybe your name, maybe it has a meaning. Maybe your parents gave you your name because of the meaning behind it. It is clear from Matthew, chapter one, verse 21, that Joseph was commanded by an angel to name him Jesus because Jesus means the Lord is salvation.

[00:05:19] That's what it means.

[00:05:20] Jesus is actually the New Testament way to say an Old Testament Hebrew name, which is Joshua. Very common name. We know him. He's a great character in the Old Testament. And his name means Lord is salvation.

[00:05:34] Hand it. Joseph is commanded by an angel. You don't get to pick the name of this child.

[00:05:41] This is the name that has already been assigned to him. You will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their word.

[00:05:50] What does he come to save us from? Since. That's a pretty intense word.

[00:05:57] Most people that I know that live in America, that live around here, they don't think they need a savior. Everybody here, we seem like we're doing all right. We think we're doing OK.

[00:06:07] Now, maybe if somebody was drowning out in the ocean, they might need a lifeguard to come in and save them. Or maybe if somebody was having a heart attack, they might need some EMT paramedics guys to come in and save them.

[00:06:21] But who really needs someone to come in and save them?

[00:06:25] See?

[00:06:27] That's tough for people to swallow, that's that's difficult for people to think through. It's Christmas time. I'm with my family. We've stocked up at total wine. We've got gifts under the tree.

[00:06:39] See, I don't think I need to be saved. I think I'm live in a pretty good life here in America. And we fail to see that that we have seen that before, God, whether you feel like you have sin or not before God. The Bible proclaims this truth that every one of us is guilty before a holy God. We have fallen short of his standard.

[00:07:01] And so that's why it's only going to be good news. I have great joy for all people.

[00:07:06] If those people are sinners, that's the only reason we're going to see that we need a savior. That's just the first term it gives us. Then it says that he's the Christ. And he's the Christ.

[00:07:18] And what Christ means is it means messiah. And what it really means is anointed one, if you could write that down. So. So save your Jesus means savior. Christ means anointed one. Christ is not his last name. What it means is that he is the one who's been anointed by God for a special purpose. And this is really a deep idea that runs through the entire Old Testament. And all of the Jewish people living before the time of Christ, they would have been anticipating someone called the Messiah. And you'd have to put together different versus from all over the old. And we actually have a Sunday school class at our church that meets at nine o'clock on Sunday mornings, where we look at all these different passages in the Old Testament, obscure ones maybe that you've never heard of before, that talk about this one who is coming, the messiah, the anointed one.

[00:08:07] And among the people of Israel, there were three different jobs that you might get where you would have to be anointed, where they would literally pour oil over you. To say that you're God's man. And we'll get to that in a minute. But that's what it what it means, that that he's the Christ. That means that he's the anointed one.

[00:08:26] And then the third title it gives him there is what what's the last title that it gives him?

[00:08:31] Lord. Lord.

[00:08:35] That speaks of one who has absolute authority, that speaks of one who will judge, who will decide who lives or who dies. You and I, we don't know anything like a lord.

[00:08:46] There's no one we could even compare him to. If I said, hey, let's compare our Lord Jesus Christ to our president, Barack Obama. All right. As some of you guys are a little too Republican for that. Right? You would think, oh, if I got to talk to Barack Obama, I'd tell him what I really think. Now, I guarantee you, you met the president of the United States with his Secret Service. You might be a little more intimidated then then you feel right now.

[00:09:11] But maybe to a man, you could dare to say what you really think.

[00:09:15] And give him your opinion of what how he's doing. But I guarantee you, when you meet the Lord Jesus Christ and you stand before him and you see an absolute authority like you have never known. No one's going to be telling Jesus what they really think.

[00:09:31] People will be saying to him, Lord, Lord, did we not do this and did we not do that? And they'll be trying to give Jesus their impressive razib may have good works in their own personal spirituality and Jesus.

[00:09:43] It says on that day, the Lord is going to say to many people, depart from me.

[00:09:49] I never knew you. You never once really celebrated Christmas. That's what Jesus is going to say. This is a baby who's been born the savior, the Christ, the Lord.

[00:10:05] That's how we got to think about him, that hopefully that was familiar to some of you. But I want to dove a little bit deeper and the part I want to go deeper in is Christ, because if I were to get anointed with oil to do a job, there was three different jobs that I could do. Maybe you've heard this before. There would be profit. Priest and King who's heard those terms before as applied to Jesus Christ, he's the anointed one. Now, if you grew up in the nation of Israel, they were they had a very high view of God because they kind of dealt in a theocracy where he ruled over them as a nation. They don't have this. We can't relate to the people in the Old Testament because we have this very casual view of God. Almost anyone today thinks they could just kind of stroll in with God and they could kind of tell God what they really think and they could just talk to him like it would be no big deal. In fact, people will even say stuff like, oh, my God, without really even thinking about it. People throw out the name Jesus Christ and they don't mean a savior who's the anointed one. They'll say stuff like, Good Lord, and they're not thinking of a judge who's going to reign over them and and decide whether they live or die in the end. No people today, they have this very casual attitude towards life in general, and then especially when it comes to God, that was not so by people who had the privilege of living in biblical times. When God gave the people of Israel the Ten Commandments and he said, thou shall not this and thou shalt that. And he gave out the law. The people said to Moses, Hey, Moses, will you just tell us these commandments? Because we don't want to hear from God. He's scaring us. That consuming fire is intimidating us. So Moses became the first prophet speaking on behalf of God.

[00:11:52] There had to be a man who would come in between God and men. A man who would come in and say, hey, you guys can't handle the truth of hearing straight from God. So let me be his mouthpiece. Let me speak on God's behalf.

[00:12:06] Another one who would lead the people eventually instead of the place of God was the king. And the king had God's commands. And based on God's commands, in the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, the Pentateuch, the King was commanded.

[00:12:20] He had to write his own copy of the first five books of the Bible. So if you're looking for some for your kids to do during Christmas break, train them to be future kings and they can start copying Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus numbers and Deuteronomy.

[00:12:34] That's what the king had to do. And then he would carry around his own personal written copy of the five scrolls to remind him that's how he was supposed to lead God's people according to God's commands, because the people couldn't handle God speaking to them. They couldn't handle God ruling over them. And so men had to mediate between the people and God.

[00:12:56] And one kind of man that had to mediate was the priest.

[00:12:59] Now, we really don't have any idea about this guy because there would be a place called the Tabernacle and eventually it became the temple. And this is a place where a man would come in on behalf of the people. He would offer sacrifices. Why? Because the people were guilty.

[00:13:14] The people had sin.

[00:13:16] And so the priest would represent the people and he would come before the presence of a holy God, and they would kill lambs and they would kill different animals in a symbol that blood must be shed as consequence for saying that something must pay the price for the sin of the people.

[00:13:34] And so they would have these priests and these priests were anointed ones like of passage you could read is Psalm one hundred and thirty three now saw one hundred and thirty three.

[00:13:45] It's like one of the Christmas songs, if you'll work with me here, one of the Christmas songs of the Jewish people, the Jewish people, they would have these weeks of these feast, these holy days, these holidays where all of the people of Israel it's OK if a baby's crying.

[00:14:00] That's how Christmas went down. All right, everybody. So so don't let that distract you. Stay stay focused.

[00:14:06] They would have these times where they would all go up to the city of Jerusalem and they would gather together. There was three different weeks in the Jewish calendar with a basically everything would shut down and they would gather together and they had these songs. It's kind of like our Christmas songs.

[00:14:18] I don't know if they judged each other for listening to them throughout the year. If you could only listen to them when it was the when it was the week of feasting, but they would go up to Jerusalem.

[00:14:27] If you've ever been in Jerusalem, you know that the only way to get to Jerusalem is to go up because it's a city on a hill. And so they had these songs of a sense while you're walking with your family up to celebrate whatever feast you're going to there in Jerusalem, you would sing songs kind of like we had our kids sing songs. You would sing songs of a sense.

[00:14:48] And instead of your kids saying, are we there yet? Right. I'd be like, sing another psalm and be quiet, son. And one of the songs they would sing, which I think is a very appropriate song for road trips, is saw one hundred and thirty three. And it starts out how blessed it is when brothers dwell in unity. Can we all given a mentor that when you're driving the car and there's car seats in the back, when everybody gets along those rare moments? You know, it's just nice, isn't it? And then here's what it says when it wants to say how blessed it is that everybody's getting along at this this little trip we're doing up to Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday. It's like it's like anointed oil flowing down from the head of Aaron. Like, this is a beautiful picture. And these people's mind, like anointed oil running into his beard, like oil coming down on his robes, singing again, kid. I mean, that's the song right there. That's all. Song We're done. That's the song, right? It's great when you guys get along in the back seat, it's like oil flowing down the beard of air.

[00:15:52] And I's beautiful because here's what people understood. They understood something that we don't understand today. I need someone to step between me and go.

[00:16:04] I don't belong in God's presence. He's not like me. I'm not. I'm definitely not like him.

[00:16:11] No, I need a priest in Aaron. He was the high priest. He was the first of all the priests. And when he would go in there and he would offer that sacrifice and he would do it for me.

[00:16:21] See, that's how I knew my sins could be forgiven. So, man, anoint Aaron with that oil. He's the anointed one. And how beautiful it is for him to step in there and offer that sacrifice. So I can know I'm right with God. Man. The people would sing songs about it.

[00:16:38] They would have a day of atonement that they would celebrate one day, that they would celebrate every year where one man, the high priest, he would go through all this special cleansing and this special ceremony, and they would be two goats. And he would go in. One man would go not only into the temple, but he would go into only one person was allowed one day of the year to go into the most holy place.

[00:17:04] This was the place that represented the very presence of God praise place where they kept the ark of the Covenant worth with Ten Commandments in their right.

[00:17:15] And history tells us that over time they would wrap a rope around the high priest just in case he went into the most holy place and he died in there while meeting with God. They'd be able to pull his body out with a rope so nobody else would have to go in there and die, too.

[00:17:33] That's how seriously people took trying to approach God.

[00:17:39] And the man would come and he would sacrifice one go in. The blood of that goal was to be shed for the sins of the entire people. And the other goat would become the scape goat that would go outside of the camp. And it would be like the sin of the people had been separated from them. That's a little bit of a picture now of what it means when it says that Jesus is the Christ.

[00:18:06] What it is saying is that between you and your little humble, sinful life and the holy God who reigns in splendor above, there is someone now interceding for you.

[00:18:18] There is someone now who will mediate between that God and between your soul. There is someone who will step in as your high priest. Turn with me in your Bible to Hebrews Chapter nine. And it's going to take this whole idea, this picture that we've been trying to paint of a high priest. There's kings who are anointed. There's prophets who are anointed. Priests are anointed in all of these offices. Find their culmination in this baby who's born. His name is Jesus the Savior. He's the Lord. And in Hebrews Chapter nine, it explicitly claims that we don't need priests anymore because now we have one great high priest, one who is son of the most high. And it recounts here what the high price of the old covenant would do to intercede for the people. And then it says this. You can jump with me to Hebrews, chapter nine, verse fifteen. It puts it like this. Therefore, he is the mediator of a new covenant. There is a new way. Now, we don't need the tabernacle or the temple and the high priests and the blood of these goats in the day of atonement. No. There's a new covenant so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. So that death has recurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

[00:19:42] And it begins to talk about that. You can't have a covenant without blood. But we don't have a covenant of the blood of goats. No, we have a covenant of the blood of Jesus Christ.

[00:19:55] You can skip down to verse 24. It says, For Christ the anointed one. The high priest he has entered not into a holy place is made with hands, which are copies of the true things. But no, Jesus has gone into heaven itself. Now he appears in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest used to have to enter the holy places every year with blood, not his own. For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world.

[00:20:27] But as it is, he appeared once for all.

[00:20:30] At the end of the ages, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself justice. It was appointed for man to die once. And after that comes judgment.

[00:20:42] So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time not to deal with sin. No, he's done that the first time. But to save those who are eagerly waiting for him, is it not amazing that there would common anointed one who came for the purpose of stepping between you and God, of going into heaven on your behalf, a place that you could never dare to go?

[00:21:09] No one can see God and live. No one can enter into his holy presence. But this one can.

[00:21:15] The great high priest.

[00:21:17] And in what is just an amazing just bringing together all of this symbolism, it says not only is he the high priest, but he actually puts himself on the altar as the sacrifice as well.

[00:21:32] And he sheds his blood. So that your scene could be washed clean. The only way that anybody here could ever pray. The only way that anybody here could ever be saved. You think you know God? Well, there's one reason, my friends. Because God sent a mediator on Christmas morning, he sent an anointed one to come between you and His Holiness. And his name is Jesus Christ. Point number one, if you're taking notes, let's put this down.

[00:22:02] We want to celebrate God's Go-Between. We want to celebrate this Christmas that God sent someone to go between him and us. There's no way we could ever get to God if he didn't send Jesus to come and be this mediator. That's the biblical word for it. If you want a key word for this first point. If you want a way to think of high priest, somebody who needs to mediate, somebody who needs to come between two parties who who are not on the same page and bring them together and get them back on track. That's Jesus Christ. And here's the amazing thing. This is why the birth of Jesus is different. Well, one of the reasons the birth of Jesus is different than any other birth that has ever occurred is that Jesus signed up to be born.

[00:22:48] He chose to do it. When did you choose to be born? How is picking your parents out of that go? Right. Did you get did you get to choose your siblings to write? Did you get to pick whether you'd be a boy or a girl, see?

[00:23:03] You get to pick anything about yourself, see, birth is something we're all recovering from. My friends. We're still getting used to our families.

[00:23:11] We're still trying to figure out our purpose, our calling, many people are asking themselves, especially at this time of year when there's so many lights but so much darkness in people's hearts. They ask, why am I here?

[00:23:23] And what is the point of. So many people there still trying to figure out those questions. And here's the amazing thing. Jesus knew what he was getting himself into. Jesus shows Christmas, he chose Joseph and Mary. He chose an animal's feeding trough to be laid in a manger.

[00:23:46] Look at Hebrews Chapter 10, verse five. Look at how Jesus. Now, maybe you have never heard this before. Here's a Christmas according to Jesus, the Christ, the Lord. Consequently, Hebrews Chapter 10, verse five. When Christ came into the world, he said, quoting Psalm 40 verses six to eight sacrifices and offerings. You have not desired. That's not really what it's all about. Those are symbols, but a body. Have you prepared for me? And burn offerings and sin offerings. You have taken no pleasure. Then I said behold, look at this. I have come to do your will.

[00:24:26] Oh God. As it is written of me in the scroll of this book. Can you imagine in heaven?

[00:24:34] Before we ever get to the baby lying in a manger, before the angels ever show up and announce the good news, Jesus Christ the Lord, he makes an announcement in heaven and he says, I'm gonna go and do all of your will for me.

[00:24:48] God.

[00:24:50] I'm gonna go and I'm going to choose to be born as the creatures that I created. I the infinite, eternal God who speaks the universe into existence and upholds it by the word of his power. I will become a human baby for.

[00:25:08] And I will do way to perfectly fulfill.

[00:25:12] Your righteousness, your will for me. Oh, God. I delight to do it. And Jesus Christ enters human history out of eternity and into our world as we know it.

[00:25:26] And he goes on then starting from that first moment that he is born. He lives the perfect life intentionally by plan, following what God wants him to do. He lives the perfect life that you and I. We didn't live.

[00:25:43] We've made some mistakes along the way, haven't we?

[00:25:46] We've got some things where we know that the standard was here and we came in around here and here comes Jesus Christ, the holy and anointed one.

[00:25:56] The mediator who perfectly lives the righteous life that we were supposed to put could not turn to first.

[00:26:03] Timothy, Chapter two. First, Timothy, Chapter two says that we're supposed to pray at Christmas time and that this is good news of great joy for all. People may want to be great if more people could know the joy of being saved by Jesus. This Christmas was first. Timothy, two, says Pray for everybody, for pray for President Barack Obama.

[00:26:24] Pray for for all men, because it says here in First Timothy, chapter two, verse three, that this is good and it is pleasing in the sight of God, our savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

[00:26:50] And when I celebrate Christmas, when I sit down with my family this year. When I wake up and the first thing I think on Christmas morning is I want to think that there is one who stood in the gap for me so that I could know God.

[00:27:05] Is my mediator, Jesus Christ. He's my go between. See, if Jesus doesn't do this for me, then. I don't know. God, I don't know salvation. And so I would encourage you this Christmas to worship Jesus of fresh, who willingly chose to put on flesh and to live the life that you should have lived, my friend. We just worship Jesus.

[00:27:28] Can anybody say amen to that? Is that good news here? And here with me, back to Luke, Chapter two, because the story's not done. Those are just the titles. Those are just the titles for Jesus.

[00:27:38] And we could have looked at so much more. But I think it's important for us to see that this is God's move to put between him and His Holiness and us in our sin, a mediator, someone who will go between us and bring these two sides who are opposed to our not getting along and bring them together. And you see that a little bit in the famous quote that that appears on all the Christmas cards. But I'm not sure they I'm not sure that means what you really think it means. Look at Luke, chapter two, verse 14.

[00:28:09] Here's the amazing thing. I mean, when has ever an Angel Army showed up so that people could see them and hear them announce.

[00:28:19] Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased. What a glorious moment that must have been. That's why we call it O. Holy night o o. What an amazing night. The night that Christ was born, when the angels show up and do something the likes of which they have never done. Hopefully we get the idea of giving God glory in the highest and we give him the glory when we acknowledge that he is high above us and we are not on his level. But then it says this and peace among men are oftentimes it's translated. Peace on Earth. See, when you walk down the aisle at Target and there's peace on Earth all over the place, there's birds wishing you peace on earth and angel ladies wishing you peace on earth and beautiful wintery scenes. And it just says peace on earth. Right. And sometimes you could shake the card and like snow begins to fall and you're like that cards way too expensive. I'm not buying.

[00:29:18] It's like the idea is that everybody gets automatic peace on Earth. You've got it. You've got it. We've all got it. But when I read this statement, it seems to me like there's a little bit of a a qualifier on here because notice that. Does anybody else see that? Right. It's not peace to everybody. It's not a all of a sudden we got world peace and we're all hippies here, love and Jesus.

[00:29:41] That's not what it says. Says peace among those with whom he is. Pleased. You've got to get to know the peace, the peace between the two opposing parties.

[00:29:53] Well, who are the two opposing parties here? Well, it's God and it's man. This isn't talking about everybody, all the nations of the world getting along. That's not what it's talking about here.

[00:30:03] It's a.. How are sinners like us going to strike some kind of peace with a god of righteousness and justice?

[00:30:11] Cause that's not the stuff that we're made of.

[00:30:13] So Jesus is going to mediate. And so I want that piece. How do I get it? Why? It's for those who God is pleased with, or sometimes it's translated with those on whom his favor rests. So how do you get the favor of God? How do you get God to be pleased with you?

[00:30:31] Now, this is a chance for us to talk about how God is a little bit different than Santa Claus. My friends, now, I don't know if you've noticed these differences before. I don't know if you're doing Santa at your house or not. But I know from his theme song How Santa Works, right?

[00:30:47] He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're a wake. He knows if you've been bad or good. Wow. Santa is like a stalker, right? He's creep in on you. Right. So be good for goodness sake. Because he's making a. And he's checking it. Look at you guys. And he's gonna find out who's. And so what's the point of that song? Be nice, right? You don't want coal in your stocking. Do your kid shape up, kid?

[00:31:20] I mean, this is like the ultimate way to bribe kids to good behavior that we've ever come up with is Santa Claus. You know what I mean? In 2005, we took it to the next level with Elf on the Shelf. Are you guys familiar with this? I mean, this is like now Santa is like his video camera inside your house, right? I mean, this is this is super fun, super creepy, depending on how you want to look at it. Right. But the elf disappears every night, goes back and tells Santa how you're doing. And then you find him a different place in your house the next morning. Always watch. All right. And all of us dads can just see ourselves being nice, so kid, what do you think the elf told Santa about yesterday? That's what I think, too, kid. Gonna be a rough Christmas for you if you don't get your act together, right?

[00:32:10] That's what I'm afraid people do.

[00:32:12] It's like Christmas Eve. Better go to church. Oh, yeah. We're talking about God. Better put on my good self. Want to get on the nice list? See, here's the thing that's different.

[00:32:23] Between God and Santa Claus. Jesus didn't come to save the nice list. Jesus came to save the naughty list.

[00:32:33] The point of the gospel, the point of Christmas is not, hey, will you try to do a little bit better? How could you shape up your behavior a little bit? Hey, it's that most wonderful time of the year. Could you put a smiley face on? That's not the point of the gospel story. You know, there's a savior and he came to save you from your. So you got to declare yourself for who you really are. You've got to confess, I don't belong ever on the nice list. If someone's creep on me, if someone's watching on me.

[00:33:04] If someone can see to the thoughts and intense of my heart, if someone could know who I really am.

[00:33:12] See, they would know. I got some issues.

[00:33:16] That's Jesus came to save, not the people who are putting on a good face, but the people who are really ready to admit who they are before God.

[00:33:26] So you've got to declare yourself a sinner to be saved. You got it.

[00:33:30] If you're going to establish peace with God, you have to start against him. There has to be a a gap between you and him that needs to be mediated. If you're already good, then you don't need a savior.

[00:33:42] Jesus Christ. See? Peace is not the absence of conflict. Like we like to believe here in America. Peace is the resolution of conflict.

[00:33:53] It means that we have taken both sides of the disagreement. We have sat down and we have worked it out. We haven't acted like there's no problem. We haven't just kind of tried to move on and hope it'll go away. No, we've stared the problem in the face, which for us happens in the mirror. And we address the issues. Turn with me to Second Corinthians, Chapter five, Second Corinthians, Chapter five. And we will get here to our second key word of the night here in Second Corinthians, Chapter five. If our first word is mediation, that we're here to worship Jesus who came between God and us. Well, our second word is reconciliation, because that's what we need. We need this peace with God so badly. We need to be brought together now in a relationship where God and sinners can be reconciled. Says here and Second Corinthians, Chapter five, start with me in verse 18. It says, All this is from God. He's the one who initiated all of this by sending his son on Christmas, who, through Christ, reconciled us to himself, God reaching out to save us. And then he gave us the Ministry of Reconciliation that is in Christ. God was reconciling years. God's sending out his son to bring the world to himself, not counting to us, not excuse me, and entrusting to us, not counting their trust passes against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation, not holding our sins against us, but bringing us in. Therefore, verse 20, we are ambassadors for Christ. We spread this Christmas message, God making his appeal through us.

[00:35:34] We implore you. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. That's what we're doing here at this Christmas Eve service.

[00:35:44] Some of us are already reconciled to God, we're here to worship Jesus of fresh and give him our hearts. Some people here in this theater.

[00:35:53] Are still enemies of God. Still apart from him.

[00:35:57] And the great news of Christmas is God loved you so much that even while you were his enemy, even while you were against him, he sent his son Christ to die for your sins. That's the good news that we celebrate on Christmas. And I'm here. I'm just one of anybody here who would be happy to speak on behalf of God and is begging you and imploring you. Hey, this Christmas be reconciled to God.

[00:36:24] Come to him in a relationship. He is drawing you to himself through the gift of his son, Jesus Christ.

[00:36:31] You know, something we get to do as a pastor and it can get really intense. It can be one of the most brutal things or it can be one of the greatest things. As we sit down sometimes at the table of reconciliation, that's what we like to call.

[00:36:44] And it can be any kind of place, it could be a desk in the pastor's office. It could be the kitchen table at your house.

[00:36:49] But we take a group of people who are not getting along and we sit down and we say we're going to talk this out until the problems and the disagreements here can be reconciled. This is the table of reconciliation. We're not walking away from this table till everybody is right.

[00:37:09] You know, this is time for a family time, Christmas time, holiday time. Maybe some of you guys are going to a family dinner after this. That can be a little tension in families. We have. You guys ever notice that before? I've sat down with a husband and wife and not really feeling the love there at the table of reconciliation. I've sat down with mom and dad and kids who are growing up who are telling their parents they want nothing to do with them. And I'm not really feeling the the reconciliation there at that table. I've sat down with different families who seem to have a feud with each other, with people even who go to church together, who argue in sniping and just kind of back stab one another. And I've sat there and I've watched people go at each other and supposedly we're here to get together. And yet, here we are. And what does everybody say when they come to the table, if there's been a problem, if there's been a disagreement? What does everybody do at the beginning? They get their pointy finger out and they start telling y the other person is the problem. Saying. And like at that point, basically, I can pull out my my cell phone and I can start a timer.

[00:38:19] And it's like, all right, let's see how long this plays out right here, because I can tell you right now. How's it going to go?

[00:38:25] Who's gonna be the first person at this table? To say I'm sorry. That's what it is. Who's gonna be the first person to say it's my fault?

[00:38:37] Then and only then.

[00:38:40] Well, we have reconciliation. And you can blame God. You can blame society. You can blame other people in your life. You can blame your spouse. You can blame your parents, your kids.

[00:38:55] Anybody you want to. And the world that will teach you how to do it.

[00:39:01] But God says you have to come to him and you have to. Here's the gift that you give to God for Christmas. You ready for this? Here's what you do. You give him your sin. That's what you give. The only thing you bring to it, you acknowledge sin for what it really is, you confess it before God.

[00:39:17] Look at verse 21. Here's the climax. Here's how reconciliation occurs. Says for our sake. God did this for us.

[00:39:25] Christmas is for you.

[00:39:27] He made him to be sin. Who knew no sin. So that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

[00:39:36] You want to talk about a gift exchange here, my friend? You want to talk about being the winner at the White Elephant Gift Exchange here, right? Where did you put into the pile your sin? That's all you got to do. You've got to come before a holy God and you got to say I'm not. That's what you've got to say. I'm not you.

[00:39:57] I'm the I'm a part of the reason that you and I aren't reconciled, in fact, I am the sole reason that you and I aren't reconciled.

[00:40:05] It's my sin. And you own it before God. It says, this amazing thing happens at the moment, you come and confess your sin before a holy God. He has a mediator, therefore you.

[00:40:19] And he puts all of your saying, it's like all of your sin was placed on Christ, that sacrifice, that high priest who was anointed for you. And what do you get in return? Man, what's under your tree this Christmas? Righteousness. Who are you now? Peace on earth among those whom he is.

[00:40:39] Please. That's how you get. Please.

[00:40:42] That's how God is pleased with you, that's how God's favor rests upon you, not by you trying to be a better person, not by you being good.

[00:40:50] For goodness sake. No, for your sake.

[00:40:53] Please stop trying to be good. And please calm before a holy God and say to him, it's my fault that you and I aren't right in a relationship.

[00:41:05] And find that reconciliation, what you do is you find peace through surrender. Let's get that down four point number two, if you're taking notes here on Christmas Eve, the way that we find peace with God is admitting defeat. We see him in his holiness. And I'm promising you this. If your heart is resisting what I'm saying. I'm just trying to tell you that when you stand before this baby, who is the Lord?

[00:41:31] You will not be trying to blame him, you will not be trying to blame anyone else.

[00:41:37] It says that every mouth will be silenced on the day of judgment when we stand before God.

[00:41:44] There will be no arguing back. There will only be admitting before a holy God. My sin, confessing it, owning up to it. And I wish somebody here this Christmas. Would go to God and would say to them, God, I give up. I surrender. I want to give you my life. And I all I have to offer you is my sin. The way that I fall short of your standard and what you would find in exchange for that is you would be declared righteous, because if your high priest, Jesus Christ, and you would God would be pleased with you and you would now be reconciled to him, what a great Christmas that would be. Turn with me to Matthew, Chapter 10. Turn with me to Matthew. Chapter 10.

[00:42:33] You know, not only I think can we say that, hey, peace on Earth, there can be something of a little bit misleading for that because the offer is peace on Earth to everybody. But but it's only for those among men with whom he is pleased. In fact, here's a verse in the Bible that almost comes out this whole peace on Earth from a completely different perspective. This is a verse I've never seen on a Christmas card.

[00:42:58] Read this with me. This is an interesting verse. Matthew 10, verse 34.

[00:43:02] I feel like I need to say this. I don't apologize for for telling you this is what the Bible says. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. Wait a minute. I thought that's what it was all about.

[00:43:14] Here's Jesus. This is Jesus talking. And he's saying, do not think that I have come to bring peace to the Earth. I have not come to bring peace. But a what does he say there? Put a sword. Where's that Christmas guard?

[00:43:26] Right. With this, like, beautiful, like kind of like bird with a sword coming through it.

[00:43:32] You know what I mean? I haven't seen that one. This seems like. Well, here's one of those contradictions in the Bible. What is this? No.

[00:43:39] Well, Jesus came as a mediator to bring peace so that God and sinners could be reconciled.

[00:43:47] What he didn't say is there's going to be peace between people on Earth.

[00:43:52] In fact, some people are going to see this offer of a holy God sending his son. And they're going to surrender and they're going to confess their sin and they're going to give their life now to following Jesus Christ and living for him and other people.

[00:44:07] They're going to completely miss the point of what Christmas is all about. And Jesus says that's going to divide people. That's going to put people on two different sides.

[00:44:17] That's going to make some of these family gatherings a little bit awkward. When someone has been declared righteous and is now living to shine the light of Jesus. And this part of the family over here, they don't believe that. And they kind of do whatever they want. And now we're going to all sit down together and just eat Christmas meal and be happy.

[00:44:38] No, that's why there's tension at family gatherings this time of year. You know why there's tension? Because of Jesus Christ. Because some people are still warring against him and some people have surrendered to him. And that divides every single person here in this theater and all over the world. Onto two different sides. Which when the Lord comes, he will reveal in his judgment. There will be two different ways for people to go.

[00:45:04] Those who are still trying to hang onto themself and act like they're not the problem and those who have surrendered their life away to Christ.

[00:45:15] And maybe the thing that's holding you back. From really giving your life to God, is your family, the family maybe you're about to go to dinner with after this service? We could just step right into that scene, a little awkward here, right? But this is where the Bible goes. Look at what it says. It says, For I have come to set a man against his father. What a daughter against her mother and a daughter in law against her mother in law.

[00:45:41] And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. How do you get saved? How do you celebrate Christmas by giving your life away when you lose your life?

[00:46:18] You are found in God by the mediator, Jesus Christ, and he makes it very clear he has to be first place in your life. Jesus. He went all the way for us. He willingly chose to come down and live the righteous life that you couldn't live. He did that for you. He's the creator becoming the creature. For your sake, he did that on Christmas. And he says, hey. This is how our reconciliation is going to work. You're going to lose your life and follow me.

[00:46:52] It's going to be like you're carrying your own death, your cross on your back because you're denying yourself and you're following me.

[00:47:00] And if you're going to put other people as more important than me, well, then you're not worthy of me.

[00:47:06] Jesus says. These are his words. And Jesus Christ is saying, hey, peace on Earth. Here's where I'm offering peace with God. But if you choose if you're wanted to choose the few who choose to really celebrate Christmas this year. And you and you come and you praise God that he's got a mediator and that you could be reconciled to him. It says, well, then that's going to divide you from other people in this world. And it's going to maybe create tension tonight when you celebrate Christmas tomorrow at your family gathering. And I feel like people on different sides. Because some have surrendered to Jesus Christ and some are still holding on to their own, saying, I'm pleading with you now on behalf of Christ. Please be reconciled to God this Christmas. Please. Stop trying to act like you are on the nice list. And declare yourself before a holy God, a sinner and receive the gift of Jesus Christ who was sent to save you. Surrender your life and you will find such great joy. Such good news. You talk to people, if you've got family or some family dragged you here and you're always like, why do they always want you to go to church and why they're always so into worshiping Jesus Christ? Well, now, you know, because they've given their life away. They traded all of their sin and guess what, they got back? Righteousness. The favor of God now rests upon them. They're pleased. They know peace with the holy God.

[00:48:40] When they stand before the Lord, he will say to them, well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.

[00:48:49] Come and celebrate Christmas forever with us.

[00:48:53] That's what it will be like for those who surrender here on Earth. They will win. Jesus Christ for all of eternity. I pray that you know that this Christmas, I pray that you could say glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men. People like me with whom he is. Please let me pray for you, Gabby. Thank you so much for your scripture and how it is not confusing. It is not unclear. Gabby, thank you for your scripture, which cuts to our heart. In fact, it's your scripture that tells us who we really are. That shows us we're sinners. When we compare ourselves to other people, we seem pretty good. But when we compare ourselves to you got. Scripture is clear that we all fall short, whether we feel the conviction of it. The fact is we are guilty before you. And God, I want to praise you on behalf of all my brothers and sisters here in this movie theater tonight.

[00:49:51] We praise you for sending Jesus Christ to be our mediator between you and us. God, we worship you in the name of Jesus Christ, that you would reconcile sinners like us and that you would put all of our sin on your son and give us all of his righteousness so that we could come into your holy presence. God, we worship you in the name of our high priest, Jesus Christ, who is interceding on our behalf right now. Only because of Jesus can we come into your presence and sing to you and give you glory. Right now, God. And we praise the name of Jesus Christ and God. I pray for anyone here.

[00:50:28] And I know there are some God. Souls, precious souls that you love.

[00:50:35] They you sent your goodwill for when you sent your son Jesus.

[00:50:40] God, they've been fighting a hard battle. They've been trying to act like they're okay before you. And I pray that they would surrender tonight. And I pray that they would come to the end of the battle. And they would own up to their set.

[00:50:56] They would come to you and offer their sin before you and that they would receive the greatest gift, the indescribable gift. Of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice of the perfect lamb, the blood that was shed. The great high priest, the anointed one and the Messiah. Who stands in our place? The savior. The Lord God let people know Jesus as savior tonight. Let them know when is Lord. We didn't come here to celebrate Christmas past. We want to celebrate Christmas in the present. Right now. As you say, more people, we pray this in Jesus name.

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