Jesus: How His Coming and His Going Changed Our Lives (Christmas sermon)
by Aspiring Rev. Isaiah Thomas
"Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
It is a shame that even though so many people know about Jesus, even more don't know how His life on Earth has affected theirs. I believe one thing, that it's important to know how much Jesus' life impacted your life before you were even born. In the Bible , the Jews started to lose hope in their God. So God found some prophets, and he gave them prophecies of how He would send a Messiah to save them from their oppression.
So God chose prophets like Isaiah, most notably, who prophesied that God would send a Messiah to Earth to save the Jews and all of God's people. So when the time finally came, Isaiah's prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled when God put His son Jesus Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Bible says when they were betrothed, she went with Joseph to Bethlehem, and in Bethlehem they couldn't find any rooms for them at all in any of the inns. So one of the innkeepers led them to a stable out back where he kept the animals he was raising.
And there, God allowed Mary to give birth to Jesus. Then some magi, or wise men, came from the east and went to the king of Galilee (King Herod) and asked him where the Messiah, "the King of the Jews", Jesus Christ was. King Herod got angry and then told, "Tell me where this child is so that I may go and worship and adore Him as well."
This was the first instance where the Devil tried to kill Jesus. The Magi went to the place where Jesus had been born and gave Him gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh. And the Magi worshiped Him. Then they told Mary and Joseph that King Herod wanted to kill the baby and that they shouldn't stay there long. Then the Magi went on their way and didn't even bother to stop back at Herod's palace.
Herod knowing the Magi had evaded Him, sent soldiers to search for Jesus. But an angel warned Joseph in a dream and said to Joseph to leave and go to Egypt and stay there until King Herod died. So Joseph took Mary and the young child and they went on their way. Aren't you glad that no matter what the Devil does to hinder God's plans , it will not work?
No matter what Satan tries to do, God's plan will always prevail. Now, although it was sad & indeed unfortunate that those young children died under the iron fist of Herod's oppressive will, this was done to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah about the "Massacre of the Innocents." And so Jesus grew up for a few years in Egypt until his family went back to Israel.
And so the scripture Isaiah 9:6 was fulfilled through this: after having the Passover feast with his disciples, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the garden, He prayed for god's will to be done in the events of His sorrowful passion. Then Judas Iscariot , the traitor came with soldiers to arrest Jesus. So the soldiers took Him out of the garden and brought Him before Caiaphas, the high priest.
Caiaphas brought in witnesses who accused Jesus of blasphemy and treason. Then Caiaphas asked Him the big question: "Are you the Son of God?" And Jesus answered and said, "Yes, for you shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of glory and being seated on the right hand throne of God." Then Caiaphas ripped His robe and said, "Hear O Israel, the Lord is God, the Lord is one."
So, knowing the law that they themselves could not pass judgment on any convicted criminal, they handed Him over to the Roman prefect of Judaea, Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate questioned Him privately. He asked if He was a king or not. When Pontius Pilate asked Him this, Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world, for if it was, my followers would've fought for me." Hallelujah! Glory to God!
Then Jesus said, "I bear testament to the truth, for I was sent here to tell the truth to the world, for whoever heareth my voice, heareth the truth." So Pontius Pilate said to his accusers, "I will not have Him killed, but I will have Him flogged." So the Roman soldiers took Jesus aside and whipped Him 39 times. Then to mock Him, they made a crown of 72 thorns and placed it on His head causing blood to run down His face.
Blood was already running down His back from when the whips they used tore and cut through the flesh on his back leaving bloody gashes. Then they jeered Him and mockingly called Him, "The King of the Jews." After bringing Him back to Pontius Pilate, Pontius Pilate said, "What more can I do to this man, for I have seen that He is innocent?"
And his accusers shouted, "Crucify Him!" Then in another attempt to spare Jesus' life, he brought out Barabbas a murderer, and asked them to choose which one they wanted to have killed. Thank you Lord! And they chose Jesus. So Pilate, had no other choice but to sentence Jesus to death by crucifixion. So the soldiers led Jesus to the place Golgotha to a hill called Calvary.
They hung Him high and they stretched Him wide. His accusers went to the site of the crucifixion to mock and jeer Him as He bled and died on that cross. Jesus hung up there for a mighty long time as He was scorned by one of the thieves being crucified next to Him. He finally said, "Father, into they hands, I commend my spirit." Hallelujah! He died up there on that cross. Hallelujah!
But three days later, something significant happened! A mighty earthquake shook the earth. An angel of God rolled away the stone and Jesus walked out of the grave with all power in His hands!!! ALL POWER WAS IN HIS HANDS! HALLELUJAH TO JESUS CHRIST! GLORY TO GOD! And when he ascended up into Heaven, He sat down at the right hand of the Father and now He reigns forevermore as the Wonderful Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace!!!
Somebody say "Thank you Jesus!" Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection changed the course of human history forever, giving way to God's divine plan of grace being emanated to the people of the world, and all the people who are willing to give salvation in Jesus Christ a chance. Now that you know how much His life on Earth impacted us here today, now is the time to give your heart to Him if you haven't already. Amen!