Last week we talked about Mary and Joseph and their callings and how their belief in God helped them through it. Well now let me fast forward to Jesus’s birth. In a little town called Bethlehem the Savior of the world lies in a meek old animal feed trough. Can you imagine how Mary must have felt as she gazed at her newborn Child? Any child that is born is a miracle from heaven, but this Child was indeed a gift. This Child had been set apart from any other that had ever been born in the history of the world. But why? The angel Gabriel had spoken directly to her, and her heart confirmed that what he said was true. This Child that she held was indeed the Son of God.
And yet, Mary, as many people today, must have had many questions as well, such as, “Why did Jesus become a man?” Well that’s what I am going to talk about today. .
- Jesus Became a Man to fulfill the Prophecies of the Old Testament
In Luke 24:44, Jesus said, “All things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Everything said about Him in the Old Testament had to be fulfilled in His coming. Do you realize that it would be almost possible to write a complete Christology using only the Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus? The Old Testament prophets spoke frequently about a coming Messiah. Every page from Genesis to Malachi trembles with the wondrous anticipation of the coming of this Messiah.
As we discussed last week, the prophetic books were written by many different writers at various times over many centuries. And yet, together, throughout the words of the prophets, there were signs of a Savior, a King who would rescue His people and restore them to God. The prophets spoke of this One who was to come. In fact, as you remember, there were more than three hundred specific prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures about the promised Messiah. Isaiah said that this special Deliverer would be miraculously born of a virgin and that His name would be called Immanuel. Isaiah wrote this not one year before it happened, not ten years, but 700 hundred years before it took place. In the words of Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Micah offered a prediction that was both specific and startling. He said the King would be born in Bethlehem and that He would come from the distant past. When you read Micah 5:2, here’s what you learn: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” This points to John 1:1 where is says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. Jesus is the Word and he was always there “from old to everlasting”.
Jeremiah prophesied that the birthplace of this coming One would suffer a massacre of infants. Jeremiah 31:15 reads, “Thus says the Lord: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.’” Matthew 2:16-18 reveals the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy: “Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.’”
More than three hundred Old Testament prophecies about Jesus Christ have been fulfilled. A mathematician calculated that the possibility of all of these prophecies being fulfilled in one person is more 1 in 10 with 57 zeros after it. .
- Jesus Became a Man to Show Us the Father
When Philip was talking with Jesus, he said, “‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?
He who has seen Me has seen the Father’” (John 14:8-9). Jesus was God in a body, so if you want to know who God is, you need to know who Jesus is because Jesus shows you who God is. When you see Jesus doing what He did in the Gospels, you are watching God at work. Do you want to know God? Get to know Jesus. That’s why the only way you can become a Christian is to know Jesus because Jesus is the way that you know God. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
- Jesus Became a Man to Save Us From Our Sins
In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul wrote, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
We had to have a God-Man to save us. And because Jesus was God and Man, He lifted up one hand and took hold of the Father and with the other reached down and took hold of man. And at the cross, in a moment of time, He brought them together. And now with His hands reached out, He offers His salvation to all who will come and accept him as their Savior.
If Christ had not come, the course of humanity would be one long, downward, hopeless trudge toward eternal darkness. But our Father in Heaven interrupted all of that. He shut down the cycle of sin by sending Jesus to be our Savior. If you’ve never put your trust in Jesus Christ, you cannot know Him; and without knowing Him, you cannot know God. And without accepting
Him, you cannot be forgiven. That’s the purpose of His coming, to forgive our sins so that we may come into the presence of God.
- Jesus Became a Man to Sympathize With Our Weaknesses
Jesus became a man to sympathize with our weaknesses. In Hebrews 4:15-16 we read, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Do you know why you can go to Jesus with whatever is going on in your life and know that He hears you and understands you? Because He came down here to experience everything that we’ve experienced apart from sin.
There is a story I read written by a plastic surgeon named Dr. Maxwell Maltz. He tells of a man who had been injured attempting to save his parents in a terrible fire. His elderly parents died in that fire. And he was burned over a great part of his body, his face badly disfigured. He mistakenly interpreted what had happened to him as some sort of punishment from God for not having gotten his parents out safely. In his anguish, he refused to let anyone see him, not even his wife. So she went to see Dr. Maltz for help. He said, “I can fix him.” But she knew her husband would turn down any offer of plastic surgery. When she visited him again, he asked why she had come. She said, “I want you to disfigure my face, so that I can be like him. If I can share in his pain, then maybe he will let me back in his life.”
Maltz wrote, “I had never heard anything like that in my life. I had always been paid to help people look better. She wanted me to make her look like her husband.” He wouldn’t do it. But he decided to go and tell her husband what she had said. He knocked on the man’s door and said loudly, “I am a plastic surgeon and I want you to know that I can restore your face.” There was no response. “Please come out,” he said. Again, no answer. Still speaking through the door, Dr. Maltz told the man of his wife’s proposal. “She wants me to disfigure her face to make her face like yours in the hope that you will let her back into your life. That’s how much she loves you.” There was a brief moment of silence. And then, ever so slowly, the doorknob began to turn.1
The way that woman felt about her husband is the way God feels about you and me. He took on our face and our disfigurement. He became a man so that God would become touchable, approachable, and reachable. He is Immanuel, God with us. Whatever you have been through, you can be sure that God has been all the way to the end of that road. And when you pray, He will embrace you with His love and say, “I have been there and experienced that.”
- Jesus Became a Man to allow us eternity in Heaven
He came down to earth so that we could go up to Heaven. Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Until Christ comes to live within your heart, you are not fit for heaven. The only way you can live in heaven is with Christ in you. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). There is one way to God. You come to God by coming to Jesus because Jesus is God. And Jesus is the One who paid the penalty for our sins. And one day, if we live until He returns, we’ll hear the trumpet, and we’ll go up to be with Him. And if we should die before He comes, our body will go in the grave, and our spirit will go to be with Him. If Almighty God has fulfilled all that He said about the first coming of Christ, then everything He says about His Second Coming will be fulfilled in the same precise way.
The message of Christmas is that Royalty has walked down our streets. Heaven’s King has knocked on our door, and God has moved into our neighborhood. He is one of us. Almighty God is here. And He has you on His heart today. We do not serve a God who is far away. We serve a God who is close at hand, for He has come to be with us. He is our Savior. The Christ of Christmas is here.