Christ Came Down!

Luke 2:1-7

" Long ago a child came down
To a little sleepy town,
And upon that Christmas morn
Christ the heavenly King was born.

Over His bed a mother fair
Watched her child with tender care;
And through all the night so long,
Mary sang a cradle song.

Tis a story old yet new,
And every bit of it is true,
And I'm glad that Christ came down
To that sleepy little town
."
--Carolyn Freeman

Galatians 4:4: " But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son..."

The overruling providence of God appears in this simple fact.
God orders all things in Heaven and earth.
He turns the hearts of earthly kings according to His will.
He ruled the decree of Caesar Augustus concerning the taxing.
He directed the enforcement of the decree in such a way that Mary must be at Bethlehem
when " the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. "
Little did the haughty Roman emperor and his officer Cyrenius think that they were instruments
in the hand of the God of Israel.
Little did they know that they were carrying out the eternal purposes of the King of Kings.

The heart of every believer should take comfort in the recollection of God's providential government of the world.
A Christian should never be greatly moved or disturbed by the conduct of the rulers of the earth.
We should see with the eyes of faith a Hand overruling all that they might do to the praise of God.

Our Lord arrived on the scene of human history when preparations, conducted through the
previous ages, was complete.
It was four hundred years since the last prophet had spoken.
And during the interval the nation had been particularly active in arranging, comparing, discussing,
and weighing the great treasures of the past.
Therefore, there was an "expectation of Israel" for which all good men were waiting.
God had spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets of that which had been planned before the world began.

The hour had come and men were watching...
"While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around,
And glory shone around
."

That moment had come. " God sent forth His Son."

"There's a song in the air! There's a star in the sky!
There's a mother's deep prayer and a baby's low cry!
And the star rains its fire while the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem cradles a King
!"

" O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in -
Be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel
! "

Jesus, who had glory with God before the world was, was born among cattle in a lantern-lit barn in Bethlehem
"because there was no room for them in the inn."

But Christ's birth and life and death made little Bethlehem, the little of the thousands of Judah ((Micah 5:2),
mightier than Caesar's throne; mightier than Plato's school: mightier than Zion's fame;
for Jesus was the Light - God seen; the Word - God heard; the Life - God felt.
Christ who made all things in creation was made flesh.
  • He who made man was made in the likeness of man.
  • He who was " clothed with honor and majesty" (Psalm 104: 1)
         was wrapped in swaddling clothes.
  • He who was before Abraham was born two-thousand years after Abraham.
  • He whom the heavens could not contain was born in a camel's stall.

    Such great things Jesus said about Himself:
  • Thinking of the world's darkness, Jesus said: " I am the Light of the world."
  • Thinking of humanities' homelessness: " I am the Door."
  • Thinking of our waywardness: " I am the Way."
  • Thinking of our need of protection: " I am the Good Shepherd."
  • Thinking of our fruitlessness that dishonors God: " I am the Vine."
  • Thinking of the world's deadness in sin: " I am the Resurrection and the Life."
    Human language falls short of expressing all that He is, even as a thimble lacks the capacity to hold Niagara Falls.

    Fact of Facts - The Bible's Theme:
    He Stands Alone, August, Unique, Supreme!

    His name shall be called Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6), though a thousand names be used.
    Christ, the loftiest ideal of all literature, the highest personality of all philosophers,
    the supreme problem of all criticism, the fundamental doctrine of all theology,
    the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion, the outstanding King of Kings was, and is,
    the superlative of anything you choose to call Him.

    Leaping across conventional chasms, spurning all natural boundaries, assaulting all superficialities,
    He taught as no man ever taught, or ever will, or ever can.
    The master minds of the ages, searching, scrutinizing, sifting, studying His teachings, have never
    diminished them and could never exhaust them.
    They cannot add to, nor subtract one word from what He said.
    Every truth uttered by all men in all realms in the last two thousand years is rooted like
    a rainbow in something Jesus said.
    He has the words of eternal life!

    Jesus knew men better than they knew themselves:
  • He knew the impure life of the Samaritan woman.
  • He knew the hidden thoughts of His disciples.
  • He knew the perplexities of the rich publican.
  • He knew the troubles of widows.
  • He knew the sorrows of children.

    He knew that Simon Peter would become a coward, that Thomas was a quicksand of skepticism,
    and that the heart of Judas was a smoldering black flame of treason.
    And He Knows Me!
    And He Knows You!
    He Knows Us Through And Through!

    Watch Him!
    Across the ages we still hear the voice of God, as it was heard at His baptism in the Jordan:
    " This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
    Jesus cannot be duplicated.
  • He, not another, is the conscience of the world.
  • His eyes, not the eyes of another, hold the searching gaze of eternity.
  • His hands, not the hands of another, can lift every sinner out of the very pit of hell.
  • His ears, not the ears of another, are alert unto humanity's feeblest prayer.

    Divinely distinct, He resembles no one:
  • Who, as He, ever so thrilled men's lives with hopes of immortal music?
  • Who, as He, ever spoke words that aroused dead hopes in dead hearts?
  • Who, as He, ever shed tears that should crystallize into prophetic thunders of warning
         over every Jerusalem of our day?
  • Who, as He, ever spoke words that impeached the hypocrisies of a religious hierarchy?
  • Who, as He, so condemned a people that had religion in the temple, but not in the heart?
  • Who, as He, ever reached out such welcoming arms to a prodigal?

    Folks gave themselves to Jesus and served Him all their lives.
    That is the greatest giving and the greatest serving!

    Sinners, brought out of their shameful sin, gave themselves to Him and served Him.
    Aristocrats, from pride brought low; harlots, leaving the ranks of the scarlet sisterhood also came to serve.
    Outcasts, lifted from depths of despair and ruin, also served.
    Many who were poor, gave their little.
    Many who were rich consecrated their much.

    The Question Is: What Will We Give Him This Christmas?

    " I shall have gifts at Christmas,
    and shall I fail to bring
    My Christmas gift - a loving heart -
    To Jesus Christ the King!

    Jesus my Lord
    No softly cushioned cradle,
    No couch He had,
    But in a hay-filled manger
    He laid His head,
    And midst the lowing cattle
    He made His bed -
    Jesus My LORD!

    Lord, Thou hast given so freely
    Thine all to me,
    And Thou hast borne my judgment
    On Calvary,
    All gladly now I offer
    My all to Thee,
    Jesus My Lord!
    "

    Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White