"Why Is Jesus The Reason for the Season?"
QUESTION: Have you ever seen a sign around Christmas time that said, “Jesus is the reason for the season?” You probably have.
But when you go out into the stores and malls you see a really different “reason for the season”
People running from store to store trying to find the gifts on their lists… Focused on making sure that everyone is bought for, everyone is going to be satisfied, and everyone is going to enjoy their Christmas
You basically see either one of two “reasons” in people’s hearts:
1. Greed for what they desire
2. Stress over what they want to get for others
And if you stopped each of these people and asked what they believe the “reason for the season” is, they might say “Jesus”, because they have read the same sign as you.
But they might also say, “love”, “peace”, “family” or “togetherness” and never mention Jesus.
ILLUSTRATION: “Who’s Birth?” Bart Simpson once stated, “Let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Santa”
ILLUSTRATION: “Dragging Jesus into Christmas” A woman walked up to church Nativity scene and was overheard saying, “Just look at that, the church tries to drag Jesus into every holiday!”
You see the only problem with the statement that “Jesus is the reason for the season” is that it has become a cliché.
People say it because it sounds right. They heard it somewhere, or they read it someplace, and they don’t understand what it means.
ILLUSTRATION: “Celebrating a Birth” Oh, they might understand that we are celebrating the birth of a special person. But we celebrate the birth of special people all the time. Martin Luther King, George Washington, and Christopher Columbus – all have days that honor them.
But what makes Jesus different? What makes us say that He is more special than these other characters in history? What makes Him the ‘reason for the season’?
The answer is found in the book of Hebrews.
READ: Hebrews 2:9
I. God Became Man
“…Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels…”
a. Jesus is not just a prophet:
i. Not just a good teacher
ii. Not just a special person God sent to the earth
b. Jesus is God, who wrapped Himself in flesh and made Himself lower than His created Angels and came to the earth as a man
i. John 1:14: “The word became flesh”
ii. Verse : “fullness of Godhead bodily”
iii. Verse: “I and the Father are one”
c. The problem with most of us is that we discount who Jesus really is
i. We say, it is impossible for a man to be God
ii. That’s true – we can never become God
iii. But God, in His unlimited power, His omnipotence, has the ability to become one of us and dwell with us and teach us about Himself
iv. ILLUSTRATION: “Song ‘What if God…’” There was a song a while back, “What if God was one of us?” And the lyrics read something like:
“Would he be a slob like one of us?
Would you just call Him by His name?
Would He just be a stranger trying to make
His way through this life?”
v. The thing is God was one of us!
vi. And He didn’t become one of us to just try to make His way through this life…
So the question is: “Why would God make Himself one of us?”
II. To Understand Our Suffering
“…for the suffering…”
a. Only by becoming a man could God experience our suffering
b. God became a man because He wants to know your hurts, and hurt with you
c. He went through every emotion you could imagine (and some that you probably can’t)
i. He was angry at the people for making a mockery of His Father’s Temple
ii. He was tempted in the desert by Satan himself
iii. He was tired and weary from His long days teaching
iv. He cried tears at the funeral of a friend
v. He experience pain unimaginable by being stripped, humiliated and hung to die!
d. What humbles me in the remembering of all of this is that He did that so that not only I could know Him, but that He could fully know me
i. Verse: “He was tempted”
ii. Knowing that Jesus was tempted in His pain, in His hunger and in His anger helps me to know I can go to Him and know for certain that He understands me
1. I have never had someone hate me as much as people hated Him
2. I have never experienced the pain that He did
3. He knows me fully – much greater than even I know myself
e. And I can now know that, when I go to God, I don’t go to a God that doesn’t understand, but to a God that has been here, has bled here and has died here…
And that’s the other reason God became a man.
Not only did He desire to experience our pain, but also…
III. To Take Our Death
“…that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man”
a. We talked about the cliché “Jesus is the reasons for the season” earlier
i. But there is another cliché people say that I don’t think many really understand
ii. They say, “Christ died for you”
iii. But unless you understand why, this is just a cliché
b. You see, we all have a death sentence placed upon our lives because of sin
i. Romans 3:23 “The wages of sin…”
ii. ILLUSTRATION: “Firing Squad” Imagine you are facing a firing squad. Your guilt has been made clear. Now you are just awaiting the sound of the guns and the piercing bullets that will take your life. Then, a person stands in front of you and says “fire”!!! All of the bullets that were meant for you are now piercing this person who has stood to protect you. He has taken the punishment meant for you.
c. That is what God did for you through Jesus… He took you place, you punishment, by coming to the earth and dying in your place
d. He was your substitute death… so that you could live
CONCLUSION: This story was on the radio. It is about a woman who was out Christmas shopping with her two children; after many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable, and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season time of the year---overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, get that perfect gift for every single person on our shopping list, make sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.
Finally the elevator doors opened and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn’t take it anymore and stated, "Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot."
From the back of the car everyone heard a quiet, calm voice respond, "Don’t worry. We already crucified Him."
For the rest of the trip down the elevator it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. Don’t forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase, and word. If we all did it, just think of how different this whole world would be.
Jesus is the Reason For The Season!