Christmas Message: December 24, 1995
"And a Little Child Will Lead Them."
Scripture: Men: Is. 9:2, 6, 7
Women Is. 11:1, 2, 6
Children Lk. 18:16, 17
I. "And a little child will lead them."
Wurmbrand: From the Lips of Children
p. 12d 'A child whose parents were divorced came across this vs. (Is. 11:6) and demanded, "Then why don't they let us lead? We would never have invented pubs, casinos or nuclear war. If we were leaders, there would be no spankings and no divorce."'
p. 38c "How did they lose it?
p. 41a "Father, did they let him in?"
p. 113c "I will always be grateful to you for what you have shown me."
(She saw herself losing her childhood innocence and wanted to let someone in - but she didn't know who until she was told. God is able to call us wherever we are.)
p. 115c "Do those poor people have a house yet?"
p. 50c "Children love their parents by instinct."
(It is not our earthly father who died to us.
It is the Heavenly Father who sent His Son to die for us---because---
it is we who have died to God.)
We had fallen out of love with our Creator. Sin had torn a mighty gulf between man and God.
II. Jesus was a child of victory.
A person coming to the rim of the Grand Canyon, 18 mi. wide and 1 mile deep exclaims, "Something (mighty awesome) happened here!"
In Mt. 27:51 the curtain of the temple (30 ft. high, 1 ft. thick) ripped from top to bottom, the earth shook and rocks split and tombs opened. And those at the feet of Jesus on the cross at the moment he died exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!"
Something mighty awesome happened in that moment that began the day Christ was born of a virgin. The presence of God on the earth as a child would cut through the population of man as no other 'would be' savior has ever done.
Heb. 4:12 The Word of God will divide soul & spirit, joints and marrow, thoughts and attitudes of the heart - because Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is living and active.
Lk. 12:51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.
2 Tim 5:19-20 We know that the whole world is under the control of the evil one-but we are children of God because the Son of God has come and given us understanding so we may know God. He is true God and eternal life. (Jn 3:16-18)
Lk 2:35 He will cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed, a sword will pierce your own soul.
Mt. 10:35 A man will be turned against his father, a daughter against her mother, a Daughter in Law against her Mother in Law, to where a man's enemies will be members of his own household.
Mt. 12:49 Jesus said, pointing to his disciples, "Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
1Jn. 5:11-12 And this is the testimony---
His ministry on earth began when he became like us and ended when he died like us. Yet he was more than we could ever be only in ourselves because he was sent from God. He is God! His eternal ministry of redemption began in the Garden of Eden when God exclaimed to Satan that the seed of a woman would crush his head (Gen 3:15). The words of Christ on the cross, "It is finished," announced not only the completion of his redemptive work but the defeat of Satan as Christ rose from the dead on the third day. The last enemy, death, was destroyed as Satan's seemingly invincible weapon against man was disabled, having no eternal power to keep man in bondage to sin.
Satan has been thrashing about on the earth like a mad wounded bull these last 2,000 years trying to take as much of mankind with him as he can get. But Christ has put a fence around all those who trust God through his blood shed on the cross for them.
He will deal further with this mad bull, Satan, whom he will himself put in a pen (bottomless pit) for a 1,000 years and then destroy forever in the lake of fire.
The eternal ministry of Christ continues to all those who believe as he delivers them from the penalty of sin and keeps them safe. This will continue as he returns to rule the world in righteousness and recreates his creation in perfection, unmarred by sin. Those without Christ will join Satan in the lake of fire.
There is a dividing line through the ages as the tectonic plates of sin and righteousness on the earth ground together in temptation and split apart from the choice of sin by mankind in the Garden of Eden. Man became separated from God, man on the side of sin, God on the side of righteousness. This dividing line became clear to all when Christ died on the cross as the only bridge between sin and righteousness, between man and God. It is a narrow bridge. There is only one way. Acts 4:12. Something mighty awesome happened here when Christ was born to make the way for man to return to God. The grand canyon of sin has been crossed.
And a little child will lead them in victory over sin and Satan.
III. Jesus was a child of peace.
Jesus came to bring peace and make peace between man and God (Jew & Gentile). Eph 2:1 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing line of hostility -- creating one new man out of the two, thus making peace -- reconciling both of them to God through the cross--
Rom 5:1 Since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ex. 19:12 In giving the Law, God put limits around his mountain. No one was allowed to touch it.
2 Sam. 6:6 In taking the ark to Jerusalem, Uzzah reached out and touched it on the cart when the oxen stumbled and was stricken dead.
(God is altogether holy.)
Heb. 12:18ff You have not come to a mountain that can be touched--But you have come to Mt. Zion--to God--to the spirits of righteous men made perfect--to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant. See that you do not refuse him who speaks. They did not escape who refused him who warned them on earth - nor will we escape if we refuse him who now warns us from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised to shake not only the earth but also the heavens -- so that what can be shaken may be removed and what cannot be shaken may remain. Let us worship God with reverence and awe--
And a little child will lead them in peace with God.
IV. Jesus was a child of purpose.
His purpose was to be about his Father's business in his Father's house (Lk. 2:49). Jn. 2:17 confirms that zeal for God's house would consume him. Christ reveals his purpose to his disciples in Lk. 18:32 that he would be mocked, insulted, spit upon, flogged and killed only to rise again on the third day.
Heb 3:6 says that he is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house. His purpose would be, in his zeal for us, to die for us that we might have eternal life.
Peter's sermon in Acts 2 confirms God's set purpose that Jesus should die on the cross but that he would rise from the dead, exalted as both Lord and Christ for the forgiveness of sins.
1Tim. 2:5 says he gave himself as a ransom for us in the proper time as both man and God, being a mediator between man and God.
It is impossible to separate Christmas and Easter. They have the same purpose.
In Jn 10:33 the Jews began to stone Jesus who claimed to be one with the Father. Jesus asked them which miracle they would stone him for and they said it was not for the miracles, but because he claimed to be God. What blindness of the greatest miracle of all!
God's purpose for us is that we might have eternal life - 1 Cor. 5:5 "Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
2Cor. 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. Christ the God-man was something the world had never seen before so that we might become something the world has never seen before - a people who truly belong to God (1Pet 2:9-12) so that even the pagans will praise Him for what He has done in us.
You see, Jesus came as both God and man so we too as believers might have the Spirit of God knit with the soul of a man. This works within us the power of the Spirit over the flesh that we might become perfected as he is. Jesus came as a human child to identify with us, to grow up as we did, to experience what we do so that he could become a sacrifice in our place. Heb. 2:18 - he suffered and was tempted as we are so he could help us. Jesus came to earth as a baby, humble, vulnerable and trusting. He entered our world the same way we are to enter his--that we should trust God as a little child.
And a little child will lead them into eternal life.
V. Jesus was a child of trust.
Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Jn. 14:1 trust in God, trust also in me
Trust is a primary element in accountability. God, as the One in authority took the first step in servant leadership (Mk. 10:45). He came as a baby, trusting man with himself, willing to serve, willing to be accountable, even paying our account of sin.
God, through Christ, has shown us the way to building trust.
As pastor, I have come laying down no requirements and no conditions.
We come to love and serve.
We have grown to love you, and if necessary, I would die for you.
Because no greater love has any man than that he should die for his friends.
Our relationship must be one of open trust between ourselves before God.
In His Name and for His Sake we shall do great things - He has already done them.
2 Cor 5:17 Let us start fresh
Lam 3:22-23 Every day is new with God. What has gone past we must let go so we are unhindered to embrace the future.
If there is one who does not make it to the top, no one makes it to the top---mountain climbing.
Parable of the lost sheep (99 others)
Christs journey to earth was to search for the lost sheep so they might all get to the top (heaven).
He came so that none would perish.
He prayed for unity Jn 17.
Have you strayed from the fold or never come into it? Let us trust Christ together.
1Pet 1:8-9 "for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls,"
Gal. 3:3 Trust the Holy Spirit - the goal of salvation is not obtained by human effort.
Many are called but few are chosen. The ones who are chosen are the ones who are listening to the call.
Our goal is same as Jesus.
His was to bring salvation.
Ours is to receive it.
And a little child will lead them to trust God for salvation.
Why is a child unafraid to die? Because he is yet unencumbered by this world. "How hard it is for the rich to enter into the kingdom of God." Lk 18:24
While the world debates whether Christ really existed, we have the testimony of His Spirit in our hearts. Let us die to ourselves and embrace this Holy Child who came to save us.
And a little child will lead them.
p. 26 c. "I have no heart to kill this innocent lamb. (Pilate)
Jn. 1:29 "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"