According to Jesus
We kicked off the Christmas sermon series this year by examining the backgrounds of the two men who tell us the story. Luke and Matthew give us the context of Jesus’ birth which meet the expectations of the prophecies surrounding the event. Neither one of these men were eyewitnesses to Christ’s birth, but we can be sure the Holy Spirit carefully preserves for us the integrity of the story. This is done, to be sure, even though Matthew and Luke are very different people and approach their telling of it from different perspectives as well.
There is one more storyteller, however, and we can learn from Who knows the first Christmas better than anyone. It’s the Lord Jesus Himself. What can He tell us since he was a baby? Actually we cannot go to the gospels for His account. The Lords own words come to us in the fortieth Psalm and are repeated in the book of Hebrews. Here is Jesus’ perspective on coming to earth through a very human birth: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.’” (Hebrews 10:5-7)
I’m always surprised by the nuggets of Biblical gold that one can mine from the sermon to the Hebrews. So what does Jesus emphasize through His own description of coming to the world? Well first of all, we see that there is a sovereign purpose behind His coming, a real need that only He can meet. The Old Testament sacrifices could not fully satisfy the righteousness of God. There is nothing upon this cursed world that ever walked or grew which could be offered by our hands to pardon our sins. Without Jesus, we would be truly hopeless.
So what does God do? He prepares Himself a body. God Himself comes into our world to fulfill what has always been lacking in our attempts at righteousness. The second person of the Trinity, Jesus, comes as a baby and grows to be a man for the purpose of doing the will of the One who sent Him, the Father. It is the Father’s will that Jesus serves to our eternal benefit. That is why He came. That’s the Christmas story from the perspective of Jesus.
How deeply moving for us to have this insight at our own Christmas time. We may be 2000 years removed from the event itself, but Christ never ceases to be current. May God again impart to human hearts the blessings of His heaven. Cast out our sins, enter in, and be born in us today. The Christmas story is still alive. The child in the manger who grew to manhood and died on the cross was resurrected and remains our Priest and King.
This Christmas story lives. It remains alive today, and it enables us to live also.