Christmas Mysteries Explained
20 December 2020 AM – Matthew 1:21-23 – Christmas – Scott Childs
Introduction: The birth of Christ contains mysteries that have no human explanation. No doubt about it, grand portions of the Christmas story are supernatural in nature. Unbelievers mock these mysteries. Sceptics question them. Uninformed Christians avoid talking about these mysteries. Informed Christians believe these mysteries by faith.
Our evidence is Bible based. Bible credibility is supported by creation. Read Romans 1:20. Dr. David Menton in an article called Can Evolution Produce an Eye? Not a Chance! August 19, 2017 writes, “The human brain consists of approximately 12 billion cells, forming 120 trillion interconnections. The light sensitive retina of the eye (which is really part of the brain) contains over 10 million photoreceptor cells. These cells capture the light pattern formed by the lens and convert it into complex electrical signals, which are then sent to a special area of the brain where they are transformed into the sensation we call vision.” Even Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, 6th ed. pages 143-144 conceded that “to suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.” Both from Answers in Genesis website. The Bible stands!
Transition: This morning I will seek to shed Bible light on three mysteries about Christmas that are difficult for our human minds to grasp in order to help you believe them by faith.
The first mystery that I want to shed Bible light on is that …
1. The Christ of Christmas was Virgin Born
Now that is a mystery! How could such a thing be possible?
a. Mary was yet a virgin when Christ was born.
1) Humanly speaking, this is impossible. No child can be born without a human father and a human mother.
2) Man cannot create life in a test tube and they never will. God is the source of life and the giver of life (Jn 1:4).
3) The angel Gabriel told a sexually pure virgin named Mary, that she would conceive. (Luke 1:31) “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.“
4) Mary was trouble by the mystery that Gabriel had told her. (Luke 1:34) “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.“
b. Christ was a both human and divine.
1) Mary was His human mother. She was a woman just like every other woman. She was not sinless nor supernatural.
2) She was a virgin. She herself said that she had never known a man sexually (Lu 1:34 above).
3) Christ had no human father. The Bible clearly tells us that Christ was not Joseph’s son. (Matthew 1:25) “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.“
4) That verse dissolves the false teaching that Mary remained a virgin for the rest of her life. She and Joseph had several children. Christ’s enemies said, (Mark 6:3) “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.“
Though beyond human reason, Christ was virgin born! Mary was his human mother but he had no human father. God wants you to believe the evidence by faith.
The second mystery that I want to shed Bible light on is that …
2. The Christ of Christmas was God
a. His name is Emmanuel.
1) The angel of the Lord told Joseph that Mary’s supernaturally conceived baby would be called Emmanuel (v.23). This was a quotation from Isaiah 7:14. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” The name Emmanuel means God with us.
2) Remember the complexity of the eye! The universe and all that is in it displays detail, design, organization, and wonder unexplainable in no other logical way than the act of an all-wise, all-powerful Creator God just as the Bible states. Compared with the complexity and diversity of God’s act of Creation, placing Himself in a human body seems relatively simple.
b. Christ was God manifest in the flesh
1) We call God taking on human flesh His incarnation.
2) John the Apostle called Christ the Word and said the he was God. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.“
3) (John 1:14) “And the Word was made 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.“
4) God tells us in 1 Timothy 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.“
5) Speaking of Christ, the Apostle Paul wrote, (Philippians 2:6-8) “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.“
With all this Bible evidence, do not let the incarnation of Christ baffle your faith. The evidence ought to strengthen your faith!
The third mystery that I want to shed Bible light on is that …
3. The Christ of Christmas was Born to Die
a. His name was also Jesus (v.21).
1) The angel said that Christ would be called Jesus because He would save His people from their sins.
2) Since the Garden of Eden, sin has plagued the human race, separated man from God, and plunged millions of God-rejecters into a miserable eternity.
3) Are we sinners? Yes! If you have ever used God’s name as a curse word, ever disobeyed your parents, ever taken the smallest thing that was not yours, ever had a lustful thought, or ever told a lie of any kind, you have broken God’s commandments (cf., Ex 20:1-17). You have sinned. God cannot be just and overlook sin.
4) God knew that the humans He created would choose to sin. Therefore, in love, He sent Christ, God the Son, to this earth to become Jesus, man’s Saviour (John 3:16).
b. Christ came on a mission.
1) His mission was to die as man’s substitute. Yes, He was born to die! He was born to save you from hell.
a) (Luke 2:11) “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.“
b) (Luke 19:10) “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.“
c) (1 Timothy 1:15) “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.“
d) (1 John 3:5) “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.“
2) Christ completed His mission by dying on the cross, raising to life again, and ascending back into heaven. He now offers you forgiveness and eternal life in heaven if you will trust His payment as your substitute.
3) Christ was born to die in your place so that you need not suffer eternal death in hell.
The Christmas mystery that Christ was born to die for the human race is clearly the theme of the entire Bible. If by faith you will believe it, admit your need for it, and ask Christ for it, you can know for positive that your sins are forgiven and you have a home awaiting you in heaven.