O Holy Night
The beautiful Christmas hymn – “O Holy Night” was written by a French composer by the name of Adolphe Charles Adam.
In that 1st stanza he invites us to imagine the world before the birth of Jesus. It is a world that lay in sin and error pining.
The word “pining” refers to wasting away in sin.
Adam paints a picture of a world that is in darkness without light - a world that is in despair without hope.
But then comes the next 3 words:
“till He appeared”
When He appeared everything changed
That is exactly why Jesus came
Jesus came to change the world
In this passage of Scripture:
Paul does not tell us the STORY of Christmas ... Paul tells us the GLORY of Christmas
Paul tells us why the night on which Jesus was born was such a holy night.
I. christmas is the celebration of a son
Did you know that there is no recorded birth in Scripture after the birth of Jesus?
The last genealogy or family tree listed in the entire Bible is found in the book of Matthew and that family tree is that of Jesus. Why?
Because from Genesis to Malachi all pointed to the birth of Jesus.
Paul does not give us any details about our Lord’s birth. Matthew and Luke look at the birth of Jesus historically. Paul looks at the birth of Jesus theologically.
Paul takes us back behind the curtains of eternity and shows us what took place before Jesus was even born.
(VS 6) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery [His priority to hold onto] to be equal with God:”
Now the word “equal” means to be equal in size, quality and character.
In every way Jesus Christ WAS and IS God. Jesus Christ was equal with God. It was His rightful claim. But Jesus did not cling to His equality with God.
(VS 7) “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”
Now get this: Even though the Lord Jesus laid aside all of His glory and took on the form of a servant and came as a man, He never, no never ceased to be God.
(1) when jesus became a man there was no subtraction
Jesus remained God in all of His fullness.
There was a time when Jesus was God but not man.
But there was never a time when Jesus was man but not God.
(2) when jesus became a man there was no division
Jesus did not give up any of His Godhood to make room for His manhood.
Jesus was not part human and part holy.
His deity was not humanized and His humanity was not deified.
Jesus was fully God and fully man throughout His earthly life.
(3) when jesus became a man there was addition
Jesus took upon Himself human nature which He had never possessed. Jesus added humanity to His deity.
You see from the moment Jesus was born; He remained both God and man.
This is the incarnation - Jesus being 100% man yet 100% God.
Incarnation…In Carne (In Flesh)
This is Emmanuel…God with us.
Why did Jesus leave the glory of heaven for the grief of earth?
It was because He was the only one who could come and take the sin of the world because everyone else had the world’s sin in them.
This is precisely why only God could save.
II. christmas is the humiliation of a savior
(VS 8) “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Jesus left heaven and came to earth not only to live among us but to die for us. He was born to die that we might live!
Jesus was in heaven
That is God for us
Jesus came to earth to be Emmanuel
That is God with us
Jesus died on the cross
That is God AS us
And if we believe
that is God IN us
We want babies to be born, rather than aborted. We want them to be able to live. It’s interesting that it was a fetus that was the first to rejoice at the news of Jesus’ coming! We want babies to be born, rather than aborted. We want them to be able to live.
Jesus did not become a man so He could live.
Jesus became a man so He could die so we could live!
Jesus experienced the pain of death and the wrath of hell so that we would not have to.
God did not send Jesus because He had to; God sent Jesus because He wanted to, and Jesus wanted to…it was love!
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,…”
Jesus did not die out of obligation - Jesus died out of obedience.
(VS 8) “…he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Jesus did not die an ordinary death Jesus died the death of a common everyday criminal.
THE CROSS – CRUCIFIXION.
The Roman system of crucifixion was designed to bring total humiliation and shame upon the person being crucified.
Crucifixion meant “death with great dishonor and public degradation (shame)”.
It was as if He had committed my sins.
It was as if I hadn’t.
It was as if He had no righteousness.
It was as if I was righteous.
Christmas is the celebration of a Son.
Christmas is the humiliation of a Savior.
III. christmas is the exaltaton of a sovereign
Paul gives the climax to this great passage of Scripture in (VS 9)
(VS 9) “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:”
What is that name that is above every name? It is not the name Jesus. Jesus was a very common name in N.T. times.
Millions of Americans are saying the name above every name here lately. They say it more than ever during this season. They say it without even recognizing it each time they say CHRISTmas.
The name above every name? It is not the name Jesus it is the name Christ.
(VS 11) “…Jesus Christ is Lord,…”
Jesus is the name of humiliation. Lord is the name of exaltation.
(1) christmas reminds us to accept his lordship
(VS 10) “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”
To bow is a sign of surrender. It is an act of humility.
Paul makes it very plain that every knee will bow whether by choice or by force.
Every one and every thing will one day accept His Lordship as the Christ.
Every knee above us in heaven
Every knee around us on earth
Every knee under us in hell
Everyone and everything will accept His Lordship
(2) christmas reminds us to acknowledge his lordship
(VS 11) “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord...”
That word “confess” means to agree with and to openly proclaim.
To proclaim what? To proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord!
(3) christmas reminds us to acclaim his lordship
“to the glory of God the Father”
Paul says that there needs to be an acclamation, a sounding forth to the glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Christian, the purpose of your life and mine is to bring glory to God the Father and the way that glory is brought to God is when you acclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.
He is the Lord of the universe!
Jesus is the reason for the season.
Christmas is about SC ... the Sovereign Christ not Santa Claus.
There is no comparison.
Christmas is not about Santa
Christmas is about a Savior
Christmas is not about gifts
Christmas is about grace
Jesus will always be the reason for the season because Jesus is Lord.
Christmas night was a holy night because on that night the only One in the entire universe who could save us, Jesus Christ the Lord, was born.
When you crown Him as the Lord of your life, that one holy night means every day will be holy for you.
[from sermon by Mike Branch]
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