What a great worship gathering we had Sunday evening! It was one of my favorites thus far, with or without the Baklava or soups. Our church celebrated our first Christmas together with a meal, emphasis on Advent Conspiracy and then looked at the birth of Christ.
Jesus is the reason for the season, cliche but true. But I think that we often make the mistake this time of year by isolating the manger, the crib, from the rest of the story, including the cross. Picking up at Luke chapter 2 is like starting with Heroes season two not knowing that they did indeed have to save the cheerleader to save the world. There's so much to it. We opened with John 3:16, that great verse, which explains that God sent Jesus to the crib and to the cross out of love. So, instead of just isolating a few passages about the birth of Christ we looked at prophecies that Christ fulfilled. There are many people who can out think and out write and out speak me about prophecies (why or why they are not true), but we have to admit that it is difficult to manipulate how/where we are born and how/where we will die.
I ran across this great resource from Rich Deem, whose website is packed with info. I haven't read but a small percentage of his site (it has over 1,000 pages), but it is a great resource for those wanting to know a lot more about various topics.
Using Deem's resource we looked at some of the qualities of Jesus. It's wonderful. We talk about how the gospel is supposed to not just be information but transformation. We are discovering that they are both linked. We need to be renewed and transformed in our minds by the truth, the information of God's word. My hope on Sunday evening and now as I write this is that this would humble whoever reads it and would pull us into a deeper desire for worship.
Here are a few things that the Scripture foretold about Jesus. Jesus would be from Eve, the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, tribe of Judah, from the family of Jesse. He would be a shepherd to his people and not only to his people but to all ethnic groups. He would be anointed and eternal, born of a virgin, worshipped by shepherds and honored by kings. He would be declared teh son of God, speak in parables and arise like a prophet from among the people. The blind, deaf, and lame would be healed. He would be meek and mile and would minister to the Gentiles. He would bind up the brokenhearted, intercede for people, give rest to souls. He would also be rejected by his own people, not believed, betrayed by a close friend, and while being accused and spit upon, he would remain silent. He would subsequently be scourged and hated without reason. He would be vicarious sacrifice and crucified with malefactors. Pierced. Sneered. Reproached. He would be forsaken by God but would be resurrected. He would establish a new covenant, ascended to the right hand of God and be sought by all people groups.