Considerations Concerning the Christ of Christmas

Title: Considerations Concerning the Christ of Christmas

Bible Book: Luke 2 : 1-16

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Christmas



Christmas, though it has been much corrupted and commercialized over the years, is still a somewhat pleasant time out at the end of the year. It's a time when, even if only out of dutiful habit, people seem to focus on others a little bit more than at other times of the year.

Christmas has largely become synonymous with giving. That is as it should be. After all, it was God's loving gift of His Son that is supposed to be the reason for the season. For this reason, I think we need to take care to keep the emphasis on giving instead of getting-on Christ instead of mere celebration.

In dealing with the topic of Christ's birth today, you will probably hear things that are not unlike what you have heard in years past. However, I want us to pause for a while to thoughtfully consider the Christ of Christmas.


Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,"

The words "the fullness of the time" make reference "to that time when the world was providentially ready for the birth of the Savior."

God is always on time. The birth of Christ took place at just the right time. From a historical and practical perspective, Christ could not have been born into the world at a more opportune or appropriate period.

This "time" was when the Roman civilization had brought peace and a road system which facilitated travel; when Grecian civilization provided a language which was adopted as the lingua franca (universal or common language) of the empire.

Not only was the birth of Jesus on God's timetable, but He also lived out His whole life on God's schedule. Daniel 9: 25 tells us that there would be 483 years between the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, which took place in 445 B.C., and the advent of "Messiah the Prince." In A.D. 32 Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem-exactly 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

Free Calendar Turned Out to be a Real Turkey - Cathy Mullikin's bird is cooked, and her calendar is toast. Mullikin had her Thanksgiving turkey dinner already cooked on Thursday, "and my friends and family are coming on the 28th and they're going to think I'm a kook," she said. She should never have believed that free calendar. Jackson-Madison County General Hospital gave out 40,000 of them last year and every last one said Thanksgiving was on the 21st instead of the 28th. Associated Press - Jackson, Tenn, Spokesman-Review, Sunday, November 24, 1996, p. A4.

God sent His Son into the world at just the right time. His humble beginnings may have confused many as to His great purpose and person. However, I think this poem defines them very well.

Mary Had The Little Lamb

Mary had the little Lamb, who lived before His birth;

Self-existent Son of God, from Heaven He came to Earth.

Micah 5:2

Mary had the little Lamb; see Him in yonder stall-

Virgin-born Son of God, to save man from the Fall.

Isaiah 7:14

Mary had the little Lamb, obedient Son of God;

Everywhere the Father led, His feet were sure to trod.

John 6:38

Mary had the little Lamb, crucified on the tree,

The rejected Son of God, He died to set men free.

1 Peter 1:18

Mary had the little Lamb-men placed Him in the grave,

Thinking they were done with Him; to death He was no slave!

Matthew 28:6

Mary had the little Lamb, ascended now is He;

All work on Earth is ended, our Advocate to be.

Hebrews 4:14-16

Mary had the little Lamb-mystery to behold!

From the Lamb of Calvary, a Lion will unfold.

Revelation 5: 5,6

When the Day Star comes again, of this be very sure:

It won't be Lamb-like silence, but with the Lion's roar.

Psalm 2:12; Revelation 19:11-16

Marv and Marbeth Rosenthal (Copies of this poem may be used without written permission from the authors.)


Luke 1:28, "And the angel came in unto her (Mary), and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."

A. Messiah's Birth Via A Virgin Was Foretold.

Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

Isaiah7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."

Luke 1:26-27, 30-31, "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus."

We don't usually think of the virgin birth of Christ when we think of the book of Genesis. However, Genesis 3: 15 is the Bible's first reference to the virgin birth of Messiah, though it is not mentioned directly. Notice that God told Satan that there would be "enmity" ("blood fued"4) between his seed and the seed of the woman. This implies the virgin birth, since it is common knowledge that the seed of procreation is man's contribution, not the woman's. But God became more specific in this prophecy. He said, "it (the seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (v. 15c). God did not say that the seed of Satan would bruise "their" heel, which would imply the collective children of the woman. He said that the seed of Satan would bruise "his heel." The seed of the woman is spoken of in the masculine. Only Jesus and the cross of Calvary could fit the requirements of this verse.

The prophet Isaiah adds another thought to the uniqueness of the virgin birth. The offspring of this virgin birth would be called "Immanuel," or "God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

In the Flesh - Literally, "en-flesh-ment" (Latin carnis-"flesh"); the doctrine that the Son of God became human (John 1:14). Jesus did not play at becoming a man but took on our flesh with all its problems and weaknesses. Incarnation, in the Christian understanding, means that Christ was both God and human.5

The angel Gabriel not only predicted that the virgin, Mary, would bear a son, but also told her what His name would be. That name indicated what His ministry would be, that being, to save His people. The name, Jesus, is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name "'Joshua,' meaning 'Jehovah is salvation.'"6

B. Messiah's Birth Via A Virgin Was Fulfilled.

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

Luke 2:6-7, "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

It has always been amazing to me that many of those who have trouble believing the virgin birth, can so easily and readily accept without question the idea that man evolved from the apes.

Three Monkeys

Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree

Discussing the things that are said to be-

Said one to another: "Now listen you two

There's a certain rumor, but it can't be true,

That man descended from our noble race-

Why, the very idea; it's a disgrace!

"No monkey ever deserted his wife,

Starved her babies and ruined her life.

Nor did ever a mother-monkey

Leave her babies with others to bunk,

Or pass them on from one to another

'Till they scarcely knew who was their mother.

"And another thing you'll never see

A monkey building a nest around a coconut tree,

And let the coconuts go to waste,

Forbidding all other monkeys to have a taste.

Why, if I build a fence around a coconut tree,

Starvation would cause me to distribute to you.

"Here's another thing that a monkey won't do:

Go out at night and get on a stew;

Or use a gun, a club, or a knife

To take another monkey's life.

Yes, Man descended, the ornery cuss!

But Brother, he didn't descend from us."7


A. Christ's Birth In Bethlehem Was Prophesied In Scripture.

Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

Both Isaiah and Micah agreed that Messiah would one day be the ruler of Israel.

Isaiah said, "...the government shall be upon his shoulder..." (Isa.9: 6b).

Micah said, "...yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel..." (Micah 5: 2a).

Micah's prophecy was literally fulfilled according to Luke 2: 4-7. As a matter of fact, when Herod inquired of the priests and the scribes about the birthplace of the Messiah, they quoted to him Micah 5: 2 (Matt.2: 3-6).

B. Christ's Birth In Bethlehem Was Of Prophetic Significance.

1. Bethlehem means, "The House of Bread." 8

John 6:51, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

What better place for the "Bread of Life"9 to be born than in Bethlehem, "The House of Bread"8? What better place for the "Living Bread" to use for His cradle than a manger10-a feeding trough?

2. Bethlehem's fields were used to graze the sacrificial lambs.

John the Baptist, when he saw Jesus, said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1: 29b).

The apostle John stated that Jesus was, "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev.13: 8b).

What better place for the "Lamb of God" to be born than in a stable? The fact is: every detail of the birth of Christ spoke of His person and purpose.


A. He Would Be Crucified For Our Sins.

John 3:14, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:"

Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

Crucifixion was a horribly agonizing way to die. Notice the following description, "A medical doctor provides a physical description: The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place.

"The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified. As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain-the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.

"As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.

"Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.

"It is now almost over-the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level-the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues-the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues. Finally he can allow his body to die. All this the Bible records with the simple words, "And they crucified Him." (Mark 15:24). What wondrous love is this?" Adapted from C. Truman Davis, M.D. in, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 8

B. He Would Boldly Complete Our Salvation.

Acts 5:30-31, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Read 1 Peter 3:18a, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God..."

Folks, the bottom line is that Jesus Christ was born to die, and died that we might live. I think the following says it best:

Our Greatest Need

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior. Author Unknown

i Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Free, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 90.

ii John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, Editors, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, New Testament Edition; pg. 601.

iii J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan; pgs. 245 & 246.

iv Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 8.

v. Walter A. Elwell, Editor, The Shaw Pocket Bible Handbook, published by Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 351.

vi Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 1031.

vii Resource, July/August, 1990.

viii Dr. William Smith, Smith's Bible Dictionary, published by A. J. Holman Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; pg. 38.

ix See John 6: 35.

x Dr. William Smith, Smith's Bible Dictionary, published by A. J. Holman Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; pg. 191.

xi Progress Magazine, December 25, 1992.

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