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A “Wonderful” Christmas Message

Isaiah 9:6

 

You’re about to hear a wonderful Christmas message! [read text] Jesus is Wonderful!  The word “wonderful” in the middle of this verse is His name and it is the key word in this verse…it’s rich with meaning, pregnant with truth…an umbrella word under which all the words following it rest [He’s a wonderful counselor…etc.].  “Wonderful” is His first name!  And all the words before it tell us what qualifies Jesus as Wonderful.

        Isaiah, the prophet looked thru the telescope of prophecy and saw 700 years into the future. He saw three things about our wonderful Lord:

 

I.      HE SAW A CRADLE. "Unto us a child is born"

 

        A. A Cradle of Incarnation. "in the flesh"

1 Tim. 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…

Jn 1:14

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…

        The creator becomes the creation!

 

        B. A Cradle of Intervention. - Wickedness in the day of Noah. - Building of the tower of Babel. - Jonah on his way to Tarsus. - Paul on the Damascus Road…and you and I in our sin!

 

        C. A Cradle of Inspiration.  - God sent His Son. - Angels sang. - Wise men sacrificed. - Shepherds searched for the child. - We should be inspired to serve.

 

THE GREATEST GIFT

     I heard about a 90-year-old lady who one Christmas found

buying presents a bit much, so she wrote out checks for all of her

family and friends, and decided she would put them in with her Christmas

cards.   She wrote out her Christmas cards and wrote "Buy your own

present" after her name, then sent them off.  

 

     But after the Christmas festivities were over, she found the checks

in her desk!  Everyone had got an empty Christmas card from her with "Buy your own present" written inside but without the checks!

 

     We all like gifts.  We like to receive them from those that we

love.  And we also enjoy giving them.  What Jesus said is certainly

true:  "It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35).  I

used to think that the greatest joy of Christmas belonged to children

because they get to experience the excitement of opening their presents.

But I’ve learned that the real excitement of Christmas comes in being

able to give to those who mean so much to you.

 

We can't give to everyone.  But God can, and God has, and there's no one

who's been left off of his gift list.

       

     "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting

life." (John 3:16)

       

     This Christmas, enjoy giving gifts and enjoy receiving them.  But

be especially thankful for the greatest gift of all that came to this

earth in the form of a baby in a cradle.

 

II.    HE SAW A CROSS. "Unto us a son is given."

        Not just any son…

Jn. 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son

 

Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

        Ill.—Living Christmas Tree program in PB…always ended w/ the cross—the “real” Christmas tree!

 

III.   HE SAW A CROWN. "The government shall be upon His shoulders."

        A. Crown of thorns.

Jn. 19:5

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! 

 

        B. A Crown of glory.  Not a normal crown, but that shekinah glory surrounding…much more than a halo, blinding to us as at the transfiguration.  We can only imagine!

Heb 2:9

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  [1st 2 crowns related!]

 

        C. A Crown of gold. Again, we can only imagine!

Rev 14:14

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

 

Jesus is so wonderful.  It’s His first name!

 

Now, just in case this isn’t enough for you, perhaps you’re one of those who has trouble “reading between the nails”…here’s something for you.  Or, maybe you get it, but want some practical details to share w/ someone who wants to know, “What’s so wonderful about Jesus?”

 

Tell them:

I.      JESUS HAS A WONDERFUL HEART TO LOVE US.

Christ said, “Greater love hath no man….” His love is—

1. Unmerited [we deserve hell alone!]

2. Unselfish

3.         Unending

ill.—an elementary class had a holiday program and rose to sing a song called "Christmas Love," a surprising title in a commercialized Christmas world today.  The kids were aglow, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

 

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the

letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding

up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love." The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, she did it…a small,

quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally

unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

 

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's

mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall,

proudly holding her "W".

 

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued

until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came

over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, all understood

the reason they were there, why they celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for this program...

 

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

[slide]  "CHRISTWAS LOVE"

        And, He still is.

 

II.    JESUS HAS WONDERFUL HANDS TO KEEP US FROM SINKING. [hold us up]

Matthew 14:29-31

    And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. [30] But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. [31] And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him…

He caught Simon Peter before he went down. His hands are soft, yet strong and secure.

 

These are the same hands that fashioned wood in His dad’s shop/wrote in the sand rather than pointing a finger of condemnation at an adulterous woman/touched blind eyes and deaf ears, replaced Malchus’ ear/broke bread enough for a multitude!/in humility held His own nose, allowing John to baptize Him/wiped tears from weeping eyes, including His own at times…and will one day wipe away all tears!/

…formed the heavens and the earth and yet grasped Mary’s finger as an infant…!  And it’s the same hand that grasps onto little ones never given the chance to live!

…those hands which washed the disciple’s stinking feet later wiped great drops of blood from His brow in the garden, and then were fastened to the cross for you and for me!/it was the power of His hands that rolled the stone away from that tomb/unbelieving Thomas found faith when he saw those nail-scarred hands/those hands waved at the ascension…not saying goodbye, but see you later…and then pointed saying, “until then, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” and “I go to prepare a place for you with these hands!” And the hands that will receive us home one day.

   We’ve got every reason in the world to rejoice in the wonderful hands of Jesus…our names are graven on them, no man can pluck us from them!  Lord, we’re your small children, and we can’t even walk w/out you holding our hands!

   “Put your hand in the hand of the man…!”

 

III.   JESUS HAS WONDERFUL EYES TO WATCH OVER US.

“The eyes of the Lord go to and fro upon the earth.” His eye sees the hopeless, the helpless, and the helper.  He sees everything, which should challenge us to do right, and encourage us that we’re never alone!

IV.   JESUS HAS WONDERFUL EARS TO HEAR US.

“His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear.” He hears—

1. Our pleas

2. Our praise

3. Our prayers

V. JESUS HAS A WONDERFUL BOOK TO GUIDE US.

“It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.” His Book—

1. It Blesses us

2. It Builds us

3. It Burns within us [Jer. 20:9]

VI.   JESUS HAS A WONDERFUL SPIRIT TO COMFORT US.

“When the Comforter is come” He gives power, and protection.

VII.  JESUS IS BUILDING A WONDERFUL HOME FOR US.

“I go to prepare a place for you.” He is preparing a home w/ no sin, suffering, or sorrow.

How wonderful!  It is no wonder, that when it comes to describing Jesus, “Wonderful” is His first name!

Sing:  “His Name is Wonderful”

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