Posted by: Brad Beaman | December 7, 2007

Christmas: The Lid Blew Off

                                                      nativity.jpg

Christmas broke 400 years of silence from God, big time. Sometimes people use the phrase silence is golden. Well prior to Christmas there was lot’s of silence. It is called the silent period where for 400 years God was silent. The Old Testament ended with Malachi and people waited for the Messiah. There is no recorded word from God for four centuries. No one was saying, God has not spoken for 400 years, isn’t this golden?

Now suddenly at Christmas God was speaking abundantly. He spoke to Joseph, Zechariah, Mary, Simeon, shepherds, the wise men. The pressure from the long silence had been building for 400 years and suddenly at Christmas the lid blew off. The response was praise. When we focus on Jesus and we look at the real meaning of Christmas we must Praise God. Christmas is something that was anticipated for generations.

There seems to be a common theme of praise that first Christmas when Jesus was born, whether it was:

Mary
Simeon
The Angels
The Shepherds
Joseph
Elizabeth
Anna
Zechariah, who praised God after 9 months and 8 days of his own silence
The Wise Men
John the Baptist, who leaped with joy praising God in the womb.

They all break out in praise to God. It was like a volcanic explosion of praise after God spoke again after 400 years.

We need to remember what we celebrating at Christmas and why we’re celebrating Christmas.

We have certain expressions at Christmas: Jesus is the reason for the season, Keep Christ in Christmas.

Let’s look at those involved in the first Christmas and see how they praised God.

Praise God for Who He Is

There are so many aspects of Christmas to enjoy, but we need to keep before us who should be the focus of our celebration. Christmas is a time to focus on Jesus. We remember his birth, his coming to earth. There should be a response in us. That first Christmas morning they praised God for his attributes.

One Christmas Eve the telephone rang in the office of the pastor of the church in Washington, D.C. that President Franklin Roosevelt attended. “Tell me Reverend,” the voice inquired, “are you holding a Christmas Eve service tonight?” When advised that there would certainly be a service that evening, the caller asked, “And do you expect President Roosevelt to attend your church tonight?” “That,” explained the Pastor patiently, “I can’t promise. I’m not sure about the President’s plans for this evening. But I can say that we fully expect God to be in our church tonight.

Angels Luke 2:13-14. What an angelic choir of praise that first Christmas morning. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men. It was a great company of angels.

Marry Luke 1:46-56
In Mary’s praise she focuses on her humility and the greatness of God. At Christmas we should humble ourselves and exalt God

Mary’s song highlights the attributes of God:

His Power
Luke 1:52, He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble.
What a great God who brings down the mighty rulers and lifts up the humble. Mary definitely felt she was one of the humble God lifted up. She said in Vs 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me

Mercy vs. 50,
50His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

Holiness 49b holy is his name
— holy is his name.
After the Angel Gabriel announced that the forerunner to Jesus, the one who would come in the spirit of Elijah this same one that Malachi talked about 400 years when four centuries of silence fell, would be born to him Zechariah became silent. He could not talk for 9 months and eight days. I am sure he never thought isn’t this silence golden. The silence made for bottled up praise. As soon as Zechariah’s tongue was loosed there was nothing but praise. Luke 1:64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak, praising God.
In Luke 2:33 Joseph along with Mary marveled at what was said about Jesus. He was in awe of God.

Praise God for His Sovereign Plan

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent his Son. (Galatians 4:4)

Christmas is about God sending His Son to earth. Christmas is God’s plan in God’s perfect time. Christmas is his initiative and our response is to praise God. God orchestrated events from the fall of man in Genesis. The genealogy of Jesus is wild. Rehab the prostitute, Uriah’s wife and many who are unlikely candidates to part of God orchestrating his plan for the coming Messiah. God never lost control

The Mathematical Odds of Jesus Fulfilling Prophecy
To show that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Peter Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, ‘we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. “That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000. In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that that many silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep.

“Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man.”

Stoner considers 48 prophecies and says, “we find the chance that any one man fulfilled all 48 prophecies to be 1 in 10 to the 157 .
The estimated number of electrons in the universe is around 10 to the79 th power. It should be quite evident that Jesus did not fulfill the prophecies by accident.”
(From Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell).

God ordered his plan. The city was foretold, Bethlehem and known by the Bible scholars. Of Israelis 12 sons Judah chosen. Born of a virgin and on and on to have 48 prophesies that Jesus fulfills.

Praise God for His Mighty Salvation

We need a savior. We need Jesus. We need Christmas.

Simeon
Simeon has been waiting faithfully for God to break through in history and show his salvation. This is an amazing faith given the fact that for four hundred silent years people waited for this, never seeing the savior they waited and hoped for. “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon Him.” (Luke 2:25)

But God broke the silence speaking to Simeon. Verse 26 “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Luke 2:3-31,
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people,

Simeon took the tiny baby Jesus in his arms and started praising God. Simeon can go in peace. He has seen his savior. Not only has he seen Jesus, his savior, but the savior of Israel and the good news of great joy for all people, the savior for all.

There was also an 84 year old widow named Anna at the Temple when baby Jesus was presented at the temple. Anna praised God when she saw Jesus because everyone who was looking for redemption, the savior has come, praise God.

Zechariah Luke 1:68-69
Zechariah praised God, salvation in Jesus.
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David

This Christmas season let us praise God. He died that we might live (John 5:24, 25).

Praise the Lord: Song by the Imperials
Praise the Lord
He can work with those who praise Him ,
Praise the Lord
For our God inhabits praise,
Praise the Lord
For the chains that seem to bind you
Serve only to remind you that they drop powerless behind you
When you praise him

Shepherds Luke 2:13-14
Return glorifying and praising God. They were terrified when an angel appeared to them and the “glory of the Lord shone around them” (Luke 2:9).

Luke 2:16-17 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child.

The Shepherds did two things that first Christmas morning that we should. They acted right away on what they heard and went right away to see Jesus. The second thing is after they came to Christ they spread the news about Jesus.

For many there is still silence. We must spread the news. Praise God Jesus the savior is born. This is the good news of exceeding great joy for all people.

you can listen to this in audio at:

http://player.sermoncentral.com/c/bradbeaman/audio/51740_4465.mp3

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