Christmas: An Amazing Journey
December 5, 2016
      Christmas-An-Amazing-Journey-Dennis-Lee

Christmas: An Amazing Journey

John 1:1-5, 14

Last week as we looked at how we are to share the real meaning of Christmas, which was, “That Jesus left His heavenly estate and came down as a baby human being; it’s about God becoming flesh like you and me so that He could take our place and die the death we deserve due to our sins.”

This got me thinking about the amazing journey that happened on that very first Christmas.

When you think about it, there are many and varied journeys that humanity takes.

  • The physically impaired take “Accessible Holidays,” journeys for the adventurous at heart even though they are limited in their abilities.
  • There are those who go on health journeys to find the secret of a long and happy life.
  • History buffs take journeys to re-creations of famous periods and battles, or journeys for those who want to find their genealogical roots.
  • There are also inner journeys, spiritual journeys, journeys of self-discovery, and journies where people test themselves against nature, or man made obstacles.

There are also memorable journeys.

  • The first solo flight of Charles Lindbergh across the Atlantic Ocean, or the fateful flight of Amelia Earhart and her disappearance.
  • There’s the journey of Stanley Livingston into the heart of Africa, or Hudson Taylor into the heart of China to spread the gospel.
  • There’s the famous journey’s of Christopher Columbus to America, or that of Neil Armstrong taking the first steps on the moon.
  • And then there are the journeys of those who made famous discoveries like Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, or Louis Pasteur.

Yet all these journeys pale in comparison to the greatest journey of them all, and that is the Christmas journey over 2,000 years ago. I’m not talking about the Wise Men’s journey, but rather the journey Jesus took.

All of us are familiar with the story, some can even quote it verbatim, that is, the earthly version of how Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem and finding no place for them in the inn, stayed the night in a small stable on the outskirts of town.

We’re all familiar as well with the angelic proclamation that night to the shepherds proclaiming the long awaited Messiah had come, and that He would not only be Savior, but the Lord God Himself come down in human form as a baby, and because of this birth there would now be available to humanity peace and goodwill on earth.

Today I’d like to share with you the heavenly version of this story, it’s found in the first chapter of John’s gospel.

Read John 1:1-5, 14

This may well be called God’s view of Christmas, the most amazing journey of all time. So amazing was this journey that people over the last 2,000 years have a hard time believing it. Somehow it’s too good or outlandish to be true. It’s the Christmas journey of Jesus coming from heaven to earth.

  1. From Heaven to Earth

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1, 14a NKJV)

The term, “Word,” is another name for Jesus. Not only was Jesus the Lord God, as it says, “He was God,” but that He came to earth dwelling among us as a person.

Jesus lived in heaven, the place He created.

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3 NKJV)

Heaven is Jesus’ home. He built it. It was the perfect place. It’s more magnificent than anything we could ever see or even perceive. It’s more beautiful than the most beautiful sky we could see, or the most beautiful music we could hear. It’s a place that excels in beauty far beyond what we could ever imagine. It’s a place of perpetual joy and peace. And this was His home.

But the Christmas journey brought Jesus from His home to ours. He moved into our hood. He moved into our world.

To consider this, consider another story.

Back on July 12, 2001, a wall of garbage collapsed in Manila’s main dump crushing shacks and killing over 100 people.

There are upwards of 40,000 men, women, and children who build their houses on the blackened stinking refuse of Manila’s garbage dump. The homes are constructed out of what they can scavenge, and the children are sent out each morning to scavenge food through the massive pile of the city’s garbage.

In America we live in the land of plenty, and there are those who have lived in nice homes, who have eaten in nice clean restaurants, but have chosen to leave it all behind and become missionaries to live amongst and minister to these poor people living, eating, and dying in a garbage heap.

As amazing as this is, it’s not as amazing as Jesus’ journey from heaven to earth. It was a journey He chose. He knew where He was going and the sacrifice He would make, but He chose to make journey from heaven to earth to save the human race. He traveled to earth to minister abundant life to all who live, eat, and die in the garbage heap of a world we live in.

He did so because the human race that He created had gotten off course. Sin had turned us against God and polluted the earth in the process.

Now if God had employed a business consultant the advice would be to cut His losses and start all over again. If He got a religious advisor the advice would be to create a set of tasks and regulations so that humanity could work their way out of it. If we went to the angels they would have said, wipe them out and give it to us, that’s just my speculation.

But God consulted no one but Himself, and because of His love, He knew the only way to make it right, to restore the fellowship that was lost in the Garden, He’d have to send His Son, Jesus, on this special Christmas journey from heaven to earth.

Not only did Jesus journey from heaven to earth, but He also journeyed from all eternity into time itself.

  1. From Eternity into Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2 NKJV)

The question is, “When was the beginning?”

Go back as far as you can imagine, and when you get there, Jesus was before even then, because the beginning is before time itself began. In the beginning the Word “was,” that is, He existed before the beginning, meaning that He never really began, but always was.

Jesus was before time, and that’s because He’s the one who created it. And so Jesus journeyed from eternity, where time isn’t measured, into time itself.

He came into time, our time, into our calendars, and into our days. He lived amongst us, which means He measured time as you and I, that is, into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years. Can you imagine it? The Son of God who knew no time was now clothed in time.

Jesus came into time and into our history. He came not only from eternity into time, but changed time as we know it. He reset the clocks of time. Before, calendars were marked by the reign of kings, “It was the third year of the reign” of this or that king. But now our calendars are based upon the coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, they’re based upon Jesus’ birth. History is divided by it, and what’s so amazing is that the whole world, even those religions that reject Jesus as Lord, set their calendars and clocks by His coming.

And so Jesus made this amazing journey from heaven to earth and from eternity into time. The next aspect of this Christmas journey involves a trip from

  1. From Spirit to Body

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 NKJV)

What this says is that Jesus was never a flesh and blood human being. He never had a human body. When He embarked upon this amazing Christmas journey, He gained a body and a name. Prior to this time He was spirit. He came only in the form of a human, but He wasn’t a flesh and blood human being. And His name was Lord, the Son of God, and the Angel of the Lord. His new name, Jesus, described His mission, that is, to save people from their sins.

Jesus gained a human body. If you think about it, this may have been the very reason God made humanity in His image and after His likeness. It was because Jesus, the Son of God, would inhabit it.

And so the Son of God became limited, contained not only by time but also by space as He became human. The eternal, all-powerful Son of God left heaven and eternity and became a human embryo.

And while Jesus did come in human form in the Old Testament, called a Theophany, God in human form, which we see Him as the Captain of the Lord of Host, the fourth man in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, along with being referenced as the Angel of the Lord, He didn’t come in actual flesh and blood.

The Christmas journey was therefore truly incredible, as Jesus became a human being of flesh and blood so that He would reach His creation, to communicate His plan for salvation, which was becoming that perfect sinless sacrifice.

This brings me to another part of this amazing journey, and that is the journey from divinity to humanity.

  1. From Divinity to Humanity

Jesus is fully God and everything that God is, Omnipresence, Omnipotent, and Omniscience. He is also holy, righteous, just, and full of grace and mercy. And then Jesus became human, making His dwelling with us. He gained a human body, felt human emotions, and had human thoughts and functions.

But when He became human He didn’t stop being fully God. Jesus was 100% human and 100% God. And the reason is so He could be our Savior. Do the math. 100% humanity multiplied by 100% divinity, and you get a perfect Savior, the only one who can pay the price for our sins so we can spend eternity in His home, heaven.

No human could do this. The Bible says,

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him—For the redemption of their souls is costly.” (Psalm 49:7-8)

There is nothing that we can do, or that anyone can do that will make us right with God to secure our salvation and get us ready to make the journey to heaven.

It took God to make the journey for us first.

– Only God who can forgive sins can do this.

– Only God who created us can make us into those new creations who can dwell with Him              forever.

– Only God who is perfect, holy, and just can pay the price that finds us not guilty before His          judgment seat.

It can only be the Word who was with God and who was God, who became flesh and dwelt among us could made this amazing journey.

The whole Christmas story is full of journeys:

  • The journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem by Joseph and Mary.
  • The journey of those wise men from the East to find the King that was foretold.
  • The journey of the angels from heaven to earth to the shepherd’s field to proclaim the arrival of Jesus, and
  • The journey of the shepherds from the fields to the Bethlehem stable to find baby Jesus lying in a manger.

But the greatest journey on Christmas was the journey made by the Son of God, from heaven to earth, from eternity into time, from spirit to body, and from divinity to humanity.

But also lets’ not forget the great journey to come

The journey is for all those who die in the Lord, who accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. A journey that will take us from this life of pain and suffering into a life where there are no more tears or sorrow, but joy forever in His presence.

Then there’s the journey known as the Rapture, where Jesus returns in the clouds to receive His church. Where in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ will rise, and all those who are alive and remaining shall be caught up into the air to meet Jesus and be in His presence forever.

And then there’s the return of Jesus when He’ll destroy the armies of the Antichrist and redeem His people.

And so as we begin this holiday season, let’s not forget this amazing journey that Jesus took. And it’s from this amazing journey that all those who believe in Him will make their own amazing journey from this life on earth to eternal life in heaven to be with Him.

 









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