So here we are – Christmas Eve and in a few short hours, we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus – Savior of the world and Son of God. Earlier in the week, I spoke about the fact that the baby Jesus in a manger, in a barn in Bethlehem, was the first time that God ever appeared in the flesh. Similarly, the shepherds in the field, guarding their flocks by night, were the first people to see that little child – who would one day spill His blood and give His life to atone for the sins of the world.
But that day was almost 33 years away. For now, that little child, born in the most humble of circumstances, would grow and become the finest teacher ever in the history of the world. And the lessons that He would teach are still be the backbone of Christianity more than 2000 years later. Who would have thought that God would send His Son, Jesus, in the flesh, to walk among us – just as years later, each believer would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity.
Although, as Christians, we recognize the fact that Jesus was fully God and fully human, we have become so accustomed to the Christmas story that we sometimes forget that Jesus is the one and only unique Son of God. But what about the rest of us? Aren’t we sons and daughters of God as well? Sure, we are! But we are adopted sons and daughters while Jesus is the one and only true son of God. That is, Jesus is God, of the same “DNA” as the Father and the Holy Spirit – while we belong to God because we have accepted the free gift of eternal life and have been adopted into the family of God.
In the original Greek, the word used to describe Jesus throughout the New Testament means “unique – the only and only.” It gives the connotation that there is no other like Him. And isn’t that true of Jesus? There is nobody like Him. And throughout His life, Jesus gave us hints that He was the true Son of God. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, what we refer to as the Lord’s Prayer, He implored them to say, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” But did it occur to you that Jesus never tells us that He prayed that way? We have very little insight into the private relationship between Father and Son, but there is no question that Jesus came to earth, as that little child, to do the will of His Father.
And it all started that night, in a stable, in Bethlehem. That night when the heavenly host appeared to the shepherds in the fields, guarding their flocks, and legions of angels burst forth proclaiming glory to God in the highest. Along with this miracle birth, the shepherds were given a message to not “be afraid” and they were promised that this Savior would bring peace… something the world still needs today – especially in light of the problems we have faced in Paris, California, the Middle East and other places around the world.
While the world may be waiting for peace, each of us can personally experience the peace that comes from having a personal relationship with the only begotten Son of God. And like the shepherds, we can go from fear to peace if we trust in Him and surrender ourselves to Him. What a wonderful lesson for this Christmas. So today we recognize the fact that God came to earth in human form as the baby Jesus. Not only was Jesus God in the flesh, but He is the only true Son of God – the real McCoy…
Our verse for tonight, on the eve of the birth of Christ, is a passage found in the the book of Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet who foretold the birth of Jesus. We are told, in Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” Did you get that? There will be no end to His peace – ever…
My encouragement this evening is that God, His Son and the Holy Spirit all want you to be peaceful – especially tonight… My prayer is that you will celebrate the birth of the Savior and that you will experience peace like you have never known it before – all because God sent a little child into the world on a night like this – more than 2000 years ago. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace… And Merry Christmas!