Nativity Lecture 2018 07

Sacrifice Accepted

She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21

There is certainty in the virgin birth, in the name assigned to the Christ-child, and there is certainty in the salvation of those who come to God through Christ, not with any personal credit, or works. His redeeming sacrifice alone makes us children of God. The Nativity teaches us is simple terms of goodness: humble beginnings, kindness, and humility. It speaks to us of what God became: little child, subject to authority, and . We must take comfort that Mary bore a son, that she called him SALVATION, and he saved his people by dying in their place.

Who gives this man to die?

The saved people – Christians – are not merely people who go to church, give to charitable and just causes, and talk intelligently about the glory of God. They perform justice. They free captives. They ease burdens. They keep a low profile. They stay connected with God. They have resigned their fate, temporal and infinite to the appointed saviour. All human giving gets dwarfed by this certain gift. He will save.

Saved people are not guessing what is next. There is no deeper or higher certainty. Mary was a thoughtful woman. It would not have eluded her that her baby was going to die. She had him for 33 years. If I might say so, there is no evidence that she ever stopped believing. The prophecy in the temple when she dedicated the Christ-child How could she – she who got pregnant without a man?
She kept holding these matters together, “rolling then together” (we might say) in her mind. Her thoughtfulness is clear from this witness.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

As she watched him breathe his last on the cross, and hear him commit John to her she must have known that the world was about to change in accordance to all the words that she had been treasuring and pondering. Change it must, for everyone who comes to recognize that loving service is the sacrifice we can render with perfect confidence.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

The wise who find the Messiah will serve him wisely

Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matt 24:44 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Matt 24:45 ​Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Matt 24:46