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Christmas is the celebration of the entrance of the Savior into our world! Notice the word “entrance.”
When we come to church it is always the goal that we leave knowing something that we’ve learned and doing something that we can apply from what we’ve learned. This message is no exception. Today we will leave knowing, with the ability to see clearer, the true definition of Christmas. Christmas is not just about boxes, bows, gifts, songs, parties, decorations, etc.

Some are against the true purpose of Christmas. Typically, these people do not believe in God. Recently, some atheists paid $25,000 to display a digital billboard in Time Square. The billboard shows a picture of Santa on top with the caption “Keep the Merry!” The bottom of the billboard displays a picture of Jesus on the cross with the words “Dump the myth!” We know from 1 John 4:3 that the spirit of Antichrist is in the world today.

The Bible clearly states in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus is building His church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We also read in Philippians 2:10-11 that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will declare that Jesus is Lord!

Christmas is the celebration of the entrance of the Savior into our world! Notice the word “entrance” because that is an important part of what we are going to learn today.

Easter and the Cross make no sense without Christmas. Easter’s meaning depends on the truth that we will learn today about Christmas. Easter is true because of the entrance of our Savior into our world.
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.  (1 Tim. 1:15 (NKJV)
In order for what the man Jesus did on the Cross to matter, it matters Who this baby in the manger was. Today we will learn an important theological word that describes Jesus’ entrance into our world. We will learn that Jesus is the Incarnation.

John 1:14 (NKJV) says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

In the gospels we see God entering the human realm, born as a 1st Century Jew, named Jesus from his hometown of Nazareth. Jesus grew up in the home of a carpenter, but because of who He was and why He came His life was very different. He walked on water, calmed storms, healed the sick, fed those that were hungry, helped the tormented, raised the dead and even conquered the grave.

The Pre-Incarnation
To understand the Incarnation, we will go further back and examine the Pre-Incarnation. This means that we will go back before Jesus was born in the manger. Everything stands or falls on what we will look at today. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was not His beginning, but His birth was His entrance. Who was this Jesus in John 1:14 that became flesh and dwelt among us?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  (John 1:1–2 NKJV)

Jesus saidto them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
(John 8:58 NKJV)
We see in the above verses that Jesus has no beginning. He is referred to as the Word in John 1:1-2. He is the 2nd Person of the Trinity. He is the eternal Son of God. He always was and came to be one of us while still being what He always was. The en-fleshed Word dwelling among us was the eternal Word dwelling with the Father. Jesus declares His pre-existence when He says He is the I AM. It is very exciting to see that the Manger is His entrance and not His beginning.

He never began, but always was, and came to be one of us, while still being what He always was.

THE INCARNATION
Incarnation means that He came in flesh. This doesn’t mean just skin and bones but speaks of His taking on the human nature. To put on flesh means that He put on the entire human nature that is inclusive of body, mind, emotions and will. He did this without ceasing for a minute to be God. He became the God-man!  The eternal Word put on flesh and came and dwelt among us.
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us.” 
(Matt. 1:23 NKJV)
We see the Incarnation in the above verse. Jesus’ Name is Immanuel, God with us!  He is the God-man!

The Incarnation was not two people in one body. The Incarnation is one Person with two natures, which are divine and human. Jesus was both divine and human and yet without sin. He wasn’t 50% God and 50% man. He was 100% God and 100% man!
Philippians 2:6–8 (NKJV) tells us that Jesus, “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
The above verse tells us that Jesus made Himself of no reputation. The Greek actually says that He emptied or limited Himself when He came in the likeness of man.

A good way to understand this aspect of the Incarnation is to imagine the fastest runner in the world. This man goes to a church picnic and decides to enter a three-legged race. He is now tied to another. He still is the fastest man in the entire world but he is temporarily limited for the duration of this race. When the eternal Word came in the likeness of man it was as if He tied Himself to another leg for the duration of that race.

It is precisely because Jesus, Who is 100% God also became 100% man, that He is able to be our faithful High Priest. He can relate to our lives and knows how we feel about situations that we encounter.
Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.
(Heb. 2:17 NLT-SE)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” 
(Heb. 4:15 NKJV)
During the time of Christ on the earth there were many people that died on crosses. Roads were sometimes lit with thousands of people being executed on crosses. There is something very different about Jesus dying on the Cross. He was like us in every respect except our sin!  Jesus never sinned. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, sent by the father became fully man while remaining fully divine so that He could be the Mediator between God and man.

The Mediator
A Mediator is a “go between” person. Their role is to resolve conflict and reconcile the differences. Jesus came to resolve the conflict and reconcile the differences between God and man. A mediator must be qualified and acceptable to both sides. Jesus is the only One Who was able to be the Mediator between God and man. He really is “The Man!”
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
(1 Tim. 2:5 NKJV)

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
(1 Tim. 1:15)


And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;  For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them….
(Luke 2:25–34a NKJV)
Simeon, a devout and just man was blessed to hold the Baby born in a manger in his hands. The Child Jesus had been brought into the Temple and when Simeon held him in his arms he knew that he was holding the Messiah who would bring salvation to the world. He was holding the Incarnation. It is because of Who this Baby really was in the pre-Incarnation and in the Incarnation, that Jesus dying on the cross matters.

Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Christmas is the celebration of the entrance (not the beginning) of the Savior into our world. We have much reason to celebrate Christmas and to give gifts because God gave us His very best Gift!

Meadowbrook Church
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Gilligan
Web site: Meadowbrook Church Ocala
 
Tim Gilligan founded Meadowbrook Church of Ocala in 1989 with an urgent desire to minister to the people of Central Florida. Over twenty years later, Tim continues to practically and passionately share the uncompromised truth of God’s word. He earned his BA in Theology and Ministry from Sterling College, a Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University, and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry from AGTS. He’s authored five books.
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