Today is the first Sunday in December and we all are beginning to think about Christmas. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the world, celebrating the birth of Christ. The date of December 25 was set in the 4th century. It was set at exactly nine months after the traditional date for the conception of Jesus, March 25. The celebration of Christmas is not commanded or even mentioned in the Bible. Yet, the Christmas holiday is here to stay. Rather than ignoring it, God would have us redeem the holiday for Him.
As Christians, we should help others reflect on the miracle of Jesus being born. Not just another baby, but God incarnate, fully human and fully divine. Jesus came to be born on this earth on a mission from God. A mission that led to our salvation and the possibility of eternal life for the entire world.
Today, we begin our Christmas message series, which I’ve entitled, Jesus the Messiah. So, let’s begin by talking about what the Messiah means. When you read the Old Testament prophets, you will see that they are looking toward to a coming Savior. A coming King who will bring the exiles back to the promised land. This Savior King is referred to as the Anointed One, which is what the word Messiah stands for. This Messiah would bring the Kingdom of God to this earth. He would bring justice and righteousness, along with judgment on all of God’s enemies.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
We see from the prophet Isaiah, that this Messiah would be a human child who would grow to be a King. From the Messiah’s titles, we see that not only would He be human, He also would be God. The Messiah would reign over the kingdom of God with justice and righteousness forever. So, the true believers in the Jewish nation had been longing for a Messiah for thousands of years.