Christmas Presence #3
Luke 1:26–35 ESV
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
This is the beginning of the story of HOW God’s spiritual presence became a human presence.
For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about Christmas Presence…
1. The Presence of God
2. Then the presence of the Holy Spirit
But what we celebrate at Christmas is truly special. We celebrate that God, the creator of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth and of every living thing, including you and me.
“God became human. So he could reunite humanity with God”.
“The presence of Jesus. Jesus changes everything.”
This present from heaven - was a presentation of a new born baby in a manger 2000 years ago. This was God’s presence in our presence so that our presence could be present in heaven.
Luke 2:6–7 ESV
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
When we see a nativity when you think about Christmas decor - it is so easy to miss what really happened.
The book of John tries to help us understand the magnitude
John 1:1 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 ESV
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This was not just a cute little baby lying in a manger. This was God - coming to earth to be human so he could pay the price we could never pay.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
For our sake (yours & mine) God made Jesus to be sin who did not know sin, so that we (you & I) might become the righteousness of God.
But is that how most people see Christmas?
According to Family Search . Org
“Today, more than 2 billion people in more than 160 countries consider Christmas to be the most important holiday of the year. In the United States, 9 in 10 people celebrate the holiday—even if they are not Christian.”
So you have a massive part of the world who celebrate Christmas BUT…
According to a study done by The State of Theology . Com
“52 percent of American adults believe that Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more.”
9 out of 10 Americans think Christmas is the most important holiday of the year, while more than half think Jesus was just a teacher and nothing more.
I don’t know what Christmas is to you but I sure hope it Is more than spending time with Family, giving gifts, eating food and waiting for a fat man to break into your house and leave presents.
Don’t miss the sign. This was the greatest event in human history. In just under 2 weeks we will al celebrate or at least acknowledge NEW YEARs. The year will 2022. This is based on our current Gregorian Calendar system, which is an adaptation or correction to the previous Julian System. Both attempted to start year 1 at the brith of Christ. Everything before that was dated BC for Before Christ and everything after was AD - Anno Domini, latin for "in the year of the lord". Today many secularists have tired to remove Christ from this by changing BC to BCE (Before Common Era) and changing AD to CE (Common era).
But this event - this birth of Jesus was the most significant event in human history to date. And heaven made a quite a show of it… Did you know that? Look at this:
Luke 2:8–14 ESV
And in the same region 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 shone 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 a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths 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!”
Have you ever noticed in most nativity scenes there is only one angel. And sometimes they leave the angel out all together - and maybe there is just a star.
“And Suddenly there was with the the angel a MULTITUDE of heavenly host….”
I don’t think we get what happened there.
The word that is translated multitude is the word plēthos: great number
A great multitude.
Daniel 7:9–10 ESV
“As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.
Revelation 5:11–12 ESV
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Hebrews 12:22 ESV
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
There was not just one cute little angel before the shepherds that night - but a vast multitude of heavenly hosts saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
What will you be celebrating this Christmas?
• A Holiday?
• Time off?
• Time together?
• Gifts and presents?
• Or will you be celebrating that a vast multitude of angels, thousands and thousands, tens of thousands, an innumerable display of heaven - made a show to let the world know that YOU & I can made be new in Christ Jesus.
• That this little baby in a manger would grow to know no sin - so that I & You might become the righteousness of God.