It’s Christmas! I would like to share with you my favorite Christmas passages. They might not be what you think!
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21
“Jesus” is the Greek translation of, “Yoshiya,” which means, “YAHWEH saves.” Two variants of Yoshiya are Yeshua and Joshua, both meaning the same thing, “Jesus saves.” So, when the angel appeared to Joseph and told him to name the baby Jesus, he was being literal when he said, “he will save his people from their sins.”
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14
Tie Matthew 1:20-21 and John 1:1-5, 14 together and we come up with only one conclusion: Jesus is God in the flesh, which is exactly what Isaiah said in Isaiah 7:14 and the angel quoted in Matthew 1:23,
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
The last passage is Philippians 2:5-11,
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Don’t let the first part of verse 8 fool you; Jesus was fully human even while being fully Divine. “Being made in human likeness” is exactly what He did by being born through Mary. He didn’t just “visit” us; He became one of us! He came to show us how much He (and God) loves us and to go through death for us and be raised victorious over death, something that we could not do on our own.
Tomorrow, we will discuss WHEN life beyond death begins for us.
Abba, thank You for Christmas. Your coming changed everything for us. We worship You today for sharing with us the Truth and for giving us Your grace. Amen.