Sermon Notes December 6, 2015 FBCam
Jesus B.C. – The Jesus that Always Was
Harry Reasoner, one Christmas years ago, gave the following closing to 60 minutes
[God would become a baby.] It is a startling idea, of course. My guess is that the whole story that a virgin was selected by God to bear His Son … is not an idea that has been popular with theologians. It’s a somewhat illogical idea, and theologians like logic almost as much as they like God. It’s so revolutionary a thought that it probably could only come from a God that is beyond logic, and beyond theology.
It has a magnificent appeal. Almost nobody has seen God, and almost nobody has any real idea of what He is like. And the truth is that among men the idea of seeing God suddenly and standing in a very bright light is not necessarily a completely comforting and appealing idea.
But everyone has seen babies, and most people like them. If God wanted to be loved as well as feared, He moved correctly here, if He wanted to know His people as well as rule them. If God wanted to be intimately part of man, He moved correctly, for the experiences of birth and familyhood are our most intimate and precious experiences.
So it goes beyond logic. It is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It’s the story of the great innocence of God the baby — God in the form of man — and it has such a dramatic shock toward the heart that if it is not true, for Christians, nothing is true. reported in “The Examiner,” December 25, 2011. http://www.examiner.com/article/harry-reasoner-s-christmas-address
GOD became a MAN. This is the mystery of the gospel.
Today we begin a new sermon series titled, JESUS: B.C.
We use the phrase “B. C.” to designate before Christ. So, this series will examine what the Bible teaches about the person and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the eternal God-head, before the birth of Jesus, to Mary, his human mother. But we are only referring to his entrance into the world before he came to our world as a human. \
The only way that God could save us is if the Savior was truly GOD and truly HUMAN
These are the TWO SIDES of a great theological MYSTERY
He is TRULY GOD
“knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18–19, ESV)
He is TRUE MAN
“Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17, ESV)
Regarding his divinity, today we will examine the eternal nature of Jesus Christ. One Scripture where we find this clearly presented is in Micah 5:2, the passage that foretold of the Messiah’s birth in a little town called Bethlehem.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” (Micah 5:2, ESV)
The phrase “whose coming forth” indicates that the child born would be one that existed long ago. That is impossible – indeed it doesn’t even make sense for any ordinary person. But when ascribed to Jesus, it is a biblical indication that the son born to Mary existed in the past before he was born.
The RULER that would be BORN originated in the ETERNAL PAST
Other Scriptures also bear witness to the eternal nature of Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, ESV)
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”” (John 8:58)
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15–17, ESV)
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17, ESV)
He was God’s SON before he was sent! Before he was born!
“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,” (Philippians 2:6, ESV)
As a person who existed in eternity past, Jesus was GOD. He emphasized that he was from HEAVEN.
“He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.” (John 3:31, ESV)
“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”” (John 6:33, ESV)
“He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23, ESV)
“I and the Father are one.”” (John 10:30, ESV)
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,” (Colossians 2:9, ESV)
HIS TITLES in the Old Testament also demonstrate that the coming Messiah would be God manifest in the flesh.
The Messiah is given the title, Jehovah, the most holy and revered name used for God. Note these passages in which the Messiah is identified as Jehovah.
“On that day the Lord [JEHOVAH] will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the Lord, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:8–10, ESV)
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord [JEHOVAH] is our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23:5–6, ESV)
The Coming Messiah was also given the name Elohim, the Hebrew name for “God.”
“A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God [ELOHIM].” (Isaiah 40:3, ESV)
The Coming Messiah is described as the Angel of the LORD. This is a reference to a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament. We know that these OT events describe someone other than an ordinary angel because the angel of Jehovah receives worship – something no ordinary angel would ever do.
The Angel of the Lord appears to the following Bible characters. Note the significance of these individuals! They are the very champions of Jewish history!
HAGAR – Genesis 16:7-13
ABRAHAM – Genesis 14:18 (Melchizedek); 22:11 (Sacrifice of Isaac)
JACOB Genesis 31:11; 32:24-32
MOSES – Exodus 3:2
JOSHUA – 5:13-15
GIDEON – Judges 6:11
MANOAH – Judges 13:9-20
One final area of study for us as we consider the deity of the Messiah as presented in the Old Testament. JESUS is foreshadowed in OLD TESTAMENT TYPES. John Walvoord writes about this in his excellent book on Christology, “Christ our Lord” (63ff). Notice the pictures that are used to show us who the true identity of the Messiah. He is:
The Second Adam
The Priest greater than Aaron
A better sacrifice than Abel (Heb 12:24)
A Father greater than Isaac
A Savior greater than Joseph
A conqueror greater than Joshua
A Kinsman-Redeemer like Boaz
A High Preist after the order of Melchizedek
A Prophet greater than Moses
The King in the lineage of DAVID
Old Testament EVENTS
He is the covering for Adam and Eve’s nakedness
He is the Ark in whom we find refuge
He is the Pillar of Fire to Guide us and the Cloud to Cover us
He is the Lamb of Atonement
He is the Tabernacle where We are able to enter into God’s Presence
He is the Serpent lifted up on the pole
He is the LAMB of GOD who TAKES AWAY the SIN of the WORLD
For THOUSANDS of YEARS, God’s dealing with his people pointed to ONE PERSON – His Son JESUS
JESUS Took on FLESH
GOD came DOWN
Let me close with the following illustration about the coming of Christ into the world. This comes from a story called “THE CHRISTMAS STORM: A Modern Parable” by Paul Harvey
“This is about a modern man, one of us, he was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with others. But he did not believe in all that incarnation stuff that the Churches proclaim at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense to him and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just could not swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as man. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he would much rather stay home, but that he would wait up for them. He stayed, they went.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another and another. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. Well, when he went to the front door, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter they had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze. He remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter — if he could direct the birds to it. He quickly put on his coat and galoshes, trampled through the deepening snow to the barn, opened the door wide, and turned on a light. But the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in and he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow making a trail to the yellow lighted wide open doorway of the stable, but to his dismay the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them, he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms — instead they scattered in every direction except into the warm lighted barn. Then he realized they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature, if only I could think of some way to let them know they can trust me. That I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. How? Any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. If only be a bird myself he thought. If only I could be a bird and mingle with them and speak their language, and tell them not to be afraid, and show them the way to the safe, warm barn. But I’d have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand.
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind. He stood there listening to the bells. Adeste Fideles. Listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.
SOURCE: Paul Harvey Contributed by Jeff Strite, Church of Christ at Logansport, IN.
For God to save us, he had to become one of us. Someone we could see and touch. Someone we could relate to, all at the same time, being someone who was qualified to be the substitute for our sin.
Jesus did all that for us.
Our response should be to turn in faith to him and trust him to save us from our sin.