The Story of Christmas

December 26-30


The Story of Man’s Sin

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21(ESV)

Centuries ago, a number of workmen were seen dragging a great marble block into the city of Florence, Italy. It had come from the famous marble quarry of Carrara and was intended to be made into a statue of a great Old Testament prophet. But it contained imperfections, and when the great sculptor Donatello saw it, he refused it at once. So there it lay in the cathedral yard, a useless block. One day another sculptor caught sight of the flawed block. But as he examined it, there rose in his mind something of immense beauty and he resolved to sculpt it. For 2 years, the artist worked feverishly on the work of art. Finally, on Jan.25, 1504, the greatest artists of the day assembled to see what he had made of the despised and rejected block. Among them were Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Pietro Perugino, the teacher of Raphael. As the veil dropped to the floor, the statue was met with a chorus of praise. It was a masterpiece! Michelangelo’s David is one of the greatest works of art the world has ever known. (Source Unknown)

Jesus came into the world because man is imperfect. Matthew 1:21 says He came to save us from our “sins.” Sin means to miss the mark or to be imperfect. Pastor Jim reminded us in the sermon that Christmas is partially about man’s story of being lost sinners. It’s also about Jesus coming to make us new creations in Christ.


Are you someone who can produce or appreciate great art? How does it make you feel knowing that Jesus came to erase your imperfections and turn you into a beautiful picture of God’s grace?


Praise God for the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which reads, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Ask God to help you walk in the new life that He has given you.


The Story of All Men

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21(ESV

Pastor Dan Meyer writes about a very prominent family who commissioned a professional biographer to record their family tree. They gave him very careful instructions and cautioned him to deal carefully with a certain Uncle George, who in a drunken stupor, had committed murder and was subsequently sent to the electric chair. The biographer assured them that he could handle it. This is what he wrote: “Uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a real shock.”

Matthew 1 contains the family tree of Jesus. Everyone in Jesus’ family tree was a sinner except for Jesus. They all deserved the punishment of hell for their sins except Jesus. Everyone in Jesus’ family tree was in need of God’s grace. Matthew 1:21 reminds us that God will save “his people” from their sins. His people refers in context to the Jews. But it also refers to all people who respond in faith and repentance to Jesus. 


What are some of the scandalous stories in your family tree? According to the Bible, the families without scandal are no more worthy of God’s grace than the families with scandal.


Praise God for the promise of Romans 6:23 which says, “the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.” Ask God to help you and your family continue to build a legacy of faith and trusting in the grace of God.


The Story of God’s Son

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21(ESV)

The Old Testament prophets were often commanded to give their children names that described God’s dealings with Israel. Most Old Testament names that incorporate either the syllable “el” or the letter “Y” (sometimes “J” in English) incorporate the name of God. For example, Joshua (Hebrew Y’hoshuah) means “God saves”; Eli means “my God”; Daniel (Hebrew Dani-El ) means “God is my judge”; … Zechariah (Hebrew Zechar-Yah) means “the Lord remembers”; Isaiah (Hebrew Yeshayahu) means “salvation of the Lord.”

When the angel told Joseph that Mary was to be the mother of the Messiah, he said of the child, “Thou shalt call his name Yeshua (Salvation), for he shall save his people from their sins.” The name was commanded as assurance that this indeed would be Israel’s Holy One. Not only does that name mean “salvation,” it means “God saves.” Not only was the Messiah to be God’s instrument of salvation, but he was also to be God in the flesh, reconciling his lost creation to himself. (Ed Vasicek)

Like His forerunner, John the Baptist, Jesus was named by God before His birth. Joseph would have the privilege of giving the Savior of the World the Name above every name, the Name of Jesus. The message of the name Jesus is, in fact, that He is the Savior of the World.


How did your parents decide what your name would be? Think about the fact that God decided to give His Son a name that would describe how He feels about you.


Praise Jesus for having the Name that is above every name. Ask God to give you His same burden to see the world saved.


The Story of God’s Son: His Name is His Mission

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21(ESV)

King James V of Scotland would on occasion lay aside the royal robe of the king and dress as a peasant. In disguise, he could move freely about the land, making friends and entering into their difficulties, appreciating their handicaps, and sympathizing with them in their sorrow. When as king he sat again upon the throne, he was better able to rule over them with fatherly compassion and mercy. In the incarnation, God shares in human experience and thereby is better able to accept man. (Stephen Sheane)

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, he said, “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” In order to save us from our sins, Jesus became one of us. It is only as we see the birth of Jesus in light of His crucifixion and resurrection that we are able to grasp the full meaning of Christ’s coming. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was not to destroy but to offer a way for us to be rescued from eternity in hell.


Have you ever had an opportunity to spend time with royalty? It’s not that easy to get access to them. However, God made Himself accessible to us so He could rescue us.


Thank Jesus for coming in the flesh and allowing you to have a personal relationship with Him. Ask God to give you the same empathy and compassion that He has for the lost.


the Story of Christmas Promised

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet” – Matthew 1:22 (ESV)

A British businessman is credited with creating the Christmas card in 1843 — as a way to save time. Too busy to write a personal holiday greeting, Henry Cole hired a well-known London artist to design a card he could send to all his acquaintances. Louis Prang, a German immigrant, is said to have brought the Christmas card tradition to America in 1875, printing a card depicting Killarney roses and the words Merry Christmas. In the last few years, Christmas card sales have declined because of the Internet.

God wasn’t too busy to write His Christmas promises to us so we would understand the significance of the birth of Christ. Matthew 1:21 reminds us that Christmas took place to fulfill what God had promised through His prophet. Matthew uses the phrase, “to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet” eleven times in his book. The OT prediction of the virgin birth of the Messiah is now fulfilled. The Gospel of Matthew carefully links the first part of the Bible with the second by citing 53 direct quotes, and 76 allusions from the Old Testament. The gospel writer clearly identifies Jesus as the promised and long-awaited Messiah, or Savior. Without a doubt, the evidence is overwhelming. Jesus is clearly presented as the fulfillment of all that the prophets of old were longing for. God always keeps His Word. God gives promises and He keeps them. He may be long, but He is never, ever, late.


Do you still write Christmas greeting cards? Why do you think Matthew repeatedly writes, “to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet?” Are you convinced of the miracle of the virgin birth?


Thank God for providing so much evidence surrounding the birth of Christ and His love for you. Thank God for never being too busy to hear your prayers.