“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inn.”
There is a poem that reads…
Joy to the World
He did not use a silvery box
or paper green and red.
God laid His Christmas Gift to men
Within a manger bed.
No silken cord was used to bind
The Gift sent from above.
‘Twas wrapped in swaddling clothes and bound
In chords of tender love.
There was no evergreen to which
His precious Gift was tied.
Upon a bare tree on a hill
His Gift was hung and died.
‘Twas taken down from off the tree
And laid beneath the sod.
But death itself could not destroy
The Precious Gift of God.
With mighty hand He lifted Him
From out the stony grave.
Forevermore for every man
A Living Gift He gave.
Year after year, we have celebrated Christmas all our lives. We have understood that this was a special time since very early childhood and looked forward to it every year. One of my favorite Christmas songs is, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.” And that phrase is exactly why. How can I think so much of this songs? I know that some will say that this is not one of the traditional songs sung in the church at the holiday season. I do understand this. But when I hear this song sung I am reminded of Isaiah 9:6.
“…and his name shall be called wonderful…”
And, Oh, friend, He is wonderful. That Precious wonderful Lamb of God. The word wonderful in this verse of scripture literally means “a miracle” or “a marvelous thing”. According to Noah Webster it is
“Adapted to excite wonder of admiration; exciting surprise; strange; astonishing.”
Even so great a word as wonderful still does not describe fully the wonder of our Saviour. There is no way to fitly describe him with mere words. We can not put into words all that He has done for us and given us. He is beyond compare, beyond price… PRAISE GOD!!! HE IS WONDERFUL!!! All that Jesus is and all that He has done is far beyond words. It is Wonderful!
He was wonderful in His birth… A miraculous birth of a virgin girl in the city of David. There was never before, nor has ever been since, such a wonderful birth as that of our Saviour. It was wonderful. It fulfilled prophecy thousands of years old. God had already told the devil in the garden of Eden that the seed of the woman would bruise his head. “Her seed” Jesus is the only man that has ever been the seed of a woman. He was promised in Eden; He was spoken of to Moses; He was prophesied by Jacob in blessing his son Judah; The virgin birth was prophesied by Isaiah, (Isaiah 7:14); Micah 5:2 tells us that He was going to be born in Bethlehem. His birth was exactly when where and how God had been promising for thousands of years and it was wonderful. God had promised David that He would be a descendant of his. Daniel prophesied of the very day of His birth. Oh, wonderful thought that God had already told all of these details and yet, wonder of wonders, when Christ was born in Bethlehem, it was unexpected by God’s own chosen people.
When we know that an important event approaches we try and prepare for it. When we know a special guest is coming we try and prepare for their visit. It is one thing to have someone surprise you and come unannounced but God had told them for thousands of years that Christ was coming, and He arrived…unexpected.
He was wonderful in His life… Totally surrendered to the Father’s will. The only man who has ever lived that could honestly make this claim.
John 8:29 “I do always those things that please him,”
Jesus Christ is the only one who has ever been totally surrenderd to the perfect will of God. He lived a Perfect and Sinless life.
2Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
There are men who will say that the bible “should say” that He committed no mistakes. Friend, men can say what they will, but God said the He “KNEW NO SIN!” and He not only never commited sin but He did not have it within Him to desire too. He never had a sin nature, never had the desire to commit sin. He Knew No Sin! In Him is no darkness nor shadow of turning. NO SHADOW OF TURNING!!
Jesus Christ was the perfect fulfillment of the sermon that He preached when His earthly ministry began on the mount. His sermon on the mount perfectly describes Him. Just look at the list and compare.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
This speaks of humility. No one has ever humbled themselves as God did when He took upon Himself a body of flesh and dwelt on earth as a man that He might be the sacrifice for sin…
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
A man of sorrows and aquainted with grief. None has ever suffered as He did, and He did it for us…
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
None was ever so meek and willing to forgive, living harmlessly for others. When he was reviled He reviled not again and in His mouth was no guile.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
He told His disciples that He had meat to eat that they knew not of, for His meat was to do the will of the Father that sent Him.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
The picture of God’s mercy on earth. The Saviour going about and doing good to a humanity that He knew was going to crucify Him.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Can there be any more perfect act of a pure heart than that wonderful prayer, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
He was come into the world that the world could be reconciled to God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Completely innocent, yet persecuted, even unto death on the cross.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Look at Him! Look at Him and see the Precious, Perfect, Sinless, Spotless, Lamb of God. He endured the cross despising the shame, and how? For the joy that was set before Him. “Blessed” means happy! You can experience the joy of the Lord even in persecutions and trials. You too can have joy in this life because you can know that you have a bright future. Jesus knew that His suffering was going to result in lost sinners getting saved by God’s Grace and He could look down through time and see many thousands of years from then that there would be multitudes in heaven with Him for all eternity and because of the joy that He knew was coming He could “despise” or think little of the cross and the pain that He was suffering here. He did it all for us. He suffered and died for us!
Oh, Friend! How can we not, with John, kneel and weep and cry aloud, “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD!”
He was wonderful in His death…born to die. The prophets could not all understand what God had them write and prophecy but God always knew. God came to die. Isaiah prophecied of the Lamb that would have our sins laid on His back and be led to slaughter. Many years later, men with cruel intent, wicked hands and evil hearts abused and crucified and slew the Precious Lamb of God! As it was prophecied that they would do.
Oh wonder, that He chose to die. “Into thy hands I commend my spirit…”
He died for others, not for Himself, but that we might be saved. (John 3:16)
He is wonderful in His resurrection… Since the world began only one man has ever gotten up from death by His own power. Jesus Christ came out of the tomb on the third day as prophecied and this fact is the very basis of Christianity. If there were no resurrection, then we are not saved and, as Paul said, our preaching is vain.
This wonderful Saviour, Who loved us and suffered for us is also wonderful in His longsuffering. He loves us in spite of ourselves. Our failures in His service do not diminish His Great Love for us.
I remember a message preached by Bro. Larry Winkler in which he quoted a songwriter.
There is the wonder of sunset at evening
The wonder of sunrise I see,
But wonder of wonders that thrills my soul,
Is the wonder that God loves me.
Let’s be mindful of the Saviour during the coming year, and not only at Christmas and maybe next year will be the greatest Christmas of our lives. Let’s do what we can to make it the greatest Christmas ever. Besides, for those of us that are saved, it is really supposed to be Christmas every day.