Three Scenes in History
A Christmas Message*
by Cooper Abrams
Introduction: Occasionally during this time of year some people talk about seeking the true meaning of Christmas. Most are seeking some psychological or social significance. Few people seem to be truly interested in what the birth of Jesus Christ means. We should not be alarmed at this because the world has always rejected their Creator. But the birth of Jesus for those who believe and love God has great significance that extends beyond his birth and looks at who He truly is and why He came. The believer in God understands that the purpose of His coming has both present and eternal consequences.
Two of these events happened so quiet, and as far as most of the world was concerned few people even knew they had even happened. The third event has not yet happened.
But each of these events affect every man, woman, boy or girl on earth, no matter when or where they lived, or their ethnic background, rich or poor, civilized or savage.
This includes each of us in fact everyone in this room! I want you to go with me and look at each scene and let us see what is so important about these scenes and how it could be possible that they effect each of us, and all mankind.
2. We must understand that 4000 years earlier in Garden or Eden when man sinned and brought sin and death into the world, this Savior was promised by God. (Gen. 3:15)
2000 years before His birth, God told a man named Abraham, that God would make of him a great nation and that in his seed, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Gen. 12:3, 22:18) God fulfilled that promise and Abraham's decedents became the Nation of Israel, the Jews and Jesus was an Israelite of the Tribe of Judah..
4. In approximately 1042 BC King David of Israel was promised that through his descendants, the Savior would come and His kingdom would be eternal. (II Sam. 7:14-17)
5. 742 years before his birth, Isaiah, God's prophet, foretold the amazing truth that he would be born of a virgin and said His name would be Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)
6. 700 years before He was born, Micah, God's prophet revealed in Micah 5:2 that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem of Judah and in Micah 4:8 that the place would be at the tower of the Flock where the sacrificial lambs were raised that were sacrificed in the Temple in Jerusalem only 3 miles away.
7. Daniel even told the exact year that he was to be born about 500 years before his birth. (Dan 9:25)
C. Come with me and let us walk up the dusty little street in Bethlehem and see this baby whose birth changed the world.
2. It was told around town that the small inn was full and that the couple had taken shelter in at the tower of the flock.
3. As we cautiously enter this special place, we see the ewes and lambs and the smell of fresh clean hay.
4. During the night the young maiden Mary had given birth to a boy child and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and because there was no other place, He was lain him in a manger....a feeding trough made for the sheep.
5. Carefully, we make our way to the manner, where the ewes had earlier been fed and peer over to get a look at the mirage of this new born child.
6. He looks like any other baby boy. He is sleeping. His mother is beside the manner watching him in amazement.
B. Three years earlier He had begun His ministry. He preached like no man had ever preached. He had twice feed multitudes of people. Once with only five small loaves of bread and two fishes He had fed 5000 people! All that came to Him he healed, those born blind and lamb. He just told them to see or rise up and walk....and the did instantly. In Bethany, a few miles south east of Jerusalem, Jesus raised a man named Lazarus from the dead who had been dead over three days.
He had proclaimed that He was the promised Messiah and His claim was confirmed by His miracles and message.
In John 10:30 Jesus proclaimed that "I and my Father are one" plainly stating that He was God. In many other passages He stated that He was the promised Messiah and that He was the Savior of the world. He had fulfilled to the letter all the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah.
Many too, knew who He was, but refused to believe in Him. The multitudes who followed Him at the beginning had left and now only a small handful of 120 disciples remained at His side.
B. The religious leaders of the Jews, in hatred of him, had falsely accused Him of many things and turned Him over to Pilate, the Roman governor of the province. Pilate had listened to the accusations against him, but had found him innocent of any wrong doing.
He have even tried to release Him, offering them the choice between Jesus and a notorious murderer, named Barabbas, but the people, urged on by the Chief priest and Pharisees and had cried, Away with Him, Crucify Him, Crucify Him.
2. Isaiah 700 years before also told of this event, saying that every joint in his body was pulled out of joint. He as so beaten before they crucified Him and scarred that He could not even be identified. (Isa. 53)
3. Let us imagine that we are there, standing below His cross. There is a hush and as we look His face. . . My dear friends, please understand......we are looking into the very face of GOD. Emmanuel...God with us!
4. The Bible tells us that the agony he is suffering for you and I, and all mankind. . Even for those who mocked him and scorned and spit on Him and beat Him. Yes, even for you and I. This pain he is bearing is the penalty of our sin....
6. Those close by hear him say, "I thirst" and someone fills a sponge with vinegar and lifts it up to Him. Jesus takes the vinegar to His lips and then in a loud voice we hear cry, we hear Him say, E'li, E'li, la ma' sa-bach-than-I, meaning "It is finished!"
7. At that moment in time, the debt has been completely paid by Him for all sin in the world.
2. This is why He had come! To die a horrible death, to save the lost sinner from an eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire that God prepared for the Devil.
He had said that in three days He would arise, so Pilate had put a great stone to seal the tomb and placed guards there.
Three days later on Sunday morning, the first day of the week, the women from Galilee who had been at His crucifixion came to finish the preparation of the body. Yet, as they approached the tomb they were shocked. The great stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty.
1. He immediately appeared to Mary for fifty days after His resurrection the risen Jesus Christ appeared to His cousins and His disciples.
2. At the tomb He appeared to Mary Magdalene, then to Peter and two men on the Emmaus Road.
3. He was seen by hundreds of people and at one time 500 were present.
2. Only those who by faith have accepted Jesus Christ will be involved...those who accepted Him and His gift of payment for their sins on the cross. I am not talking about those who joined churches, were baptized, or did good works...but those who recognized themselves as sinners and who believed and in faith asked God to save them are involved.
3. The Bible says that all believers who have died since Pentecost will be raised from their graves, and then they with believers who are alive on earth will be caught up to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. Those who are saved will then be judged at the BEMA judgment, and given rewards for living their lives for Christ which in turn are given to Christ to honor Him.
These who believed who make up the Body of Christ will reign with Him forever....
This brings us to the last scene in history before God makes a New Heaven and Earth where the saints of God will forever live with our God and Creator.
2. As we stand and look in awe we look up at the Great White Throne we see the One who is sitting there as the Judge. This same Jesus that was born in that manger in Bethlehem; the same Jesus that hung of that old rugged cross…..now sits on the Great White Throne of Justice.
2. The first resurrection which is the next prophetic event in history is for those that believe God and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, accepting His payment for their sin, will stand and be judged and rewarded for service and living for the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they will spend eternity with Him.
3 The lost condemned will stand before Him also. Both great men and small....These are the ones who refused to believe in Jesus Christ and have died in their sins. Sadly each of this people, will stand before the Lord Jesus who will justly judge them and them forever condemned them to be separated from God. Because they rejected God and Christ's atonement for sin they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. The Bible says all whose names were not written in the Book of Life were cast into the Lake of Fire.
4. Rev. 20:12, says standing their will be the small and the great. Those that tried to earn their way to heaven will be there as well as those practiced and put their faith in false religions. It will be the most horrible day in time....as each person comes before Jesus Christ and is justly judged according to their works.
2. Jesus said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36)
2. The Bible says in Romans 10:9-10, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
3. God explains to us in Colossians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
2. Or we can choose not to accept His offer of forgiveness of sin and eternal life and because men are sinners, they stand condemned already to the Devil's hell.
3. These truths are a source of joy and rejoicing to the true child of God who has received Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Christmas is a wonderful holiday; a day to remember that Jesus Christ came into the word to save sinners. A day to thank God for His wonderful love and mercy He extends to all who will receive it.
4. If there is one here today who has not placed his or her trust in Christ Jesus, this day can be a time of joy and rejoicing for you also. The Bible says that all who have not received Jesus Christ as their Savior stands condemned by their sin. Yet, Christ came to the world, suffered and died for you, that you might have eternal life. You can today, in repentance ask God even at this moment to save you. You can believe and place your faith in God, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
You too then will rejoice in the One who came to this earth and died for our sins....you too can proclaim that He is "Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"