That “Same Old Story”

14 12 2010

Well, here we are again… It’s less than two weeks before Christmas and this week most pastors are preparing to share that “same old story” from Luke 2.  Every year it’s the same thing… How can I tell this story in a new or creative way? How can I keep my congregation from tuning me out since they have heard this story so many times?

I want you to remember something: It’s a marvelous story! Don’t worry about how to present this story in a new or creative way because it is wonderful just the way it is!  It’s most amazing story in history and without it we would still be wandering in darkness.

This Sunday I’m preaching Luke 2:1-7.  During the course of my study for the message I began to think about explaining to my church the necessity of the incarnation. 

We know that ever since the moment mankind fell in the Garden that we have been storing up wrath for ourselves.  This is because God is completely Just.  As R.C. Sproul says, we have committed “cosmic treason” against God by setting ourselves upon His throne.  This means that if there is to be reconciliation between us and God then our sin debt must be paid. But how?

In the Old Testament we see the foreshadowing of what needed to take place: the shedding of blood.  However, the blood of bulls and goats is insufficient to pay for our sins (cf. Heb. 10:4).  In order for payment to be sufficient for God’s justice, the sacrifice had to be perfect.

Well, what about an Angel? Couldn’t God have sent forth an Angel to live in perfect obedience?  This is problematic for several reasons, but some of the main issues are this: Angels are created beings unable to withstand the full wrath of God that had to be poured out.  Also, an Angel is neither God nor man and therefore could not mediate between us.  And of course the sacrifice must be willing, otherwise God’s justice would be compromised. 

All that to say, if there was to be reconciliation between God and man, here are the requirements of the Sacrifice:

  1. The Sacrifice must have the capacity to perfectly obey God’s Law. (To make right what went wrong in Eden)
  2. The Sacrifice must have the ability to relate to God and man for reconciliation. (100% God and 100% Man)
  3. The sacrifice must have the capacity to withstand the full weight of God’s wrath without being annihilated into oblivion. (again, God’s justice demands payment for our sin)
  4. The Sacrifice must be willing.

The standards are such that for all eternity only ONE can fulfill all.  Only One took on flesh and blood, and bones and guts to perfectly obey God’s Law.  Only One withstood the full weight of God’s wrath during the crucifixion. Only One was willing to do His Father’s will.

His name is Jesus.  God sent His Son into the world for the sake of His people and His glory.  He didn’t wrap His gift to us in pretty Christmas paper, He wrapped in flesh and blood.  He didn’t lay it under a pretty Christmas tree in a warm cozy mansion.  He came to the manger.

Praise God, this story will never get old…

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