SERMON Why Christmas?: Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets

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How you guys this morning? Good thanksgiving Turkey mashed potatoes. Okay so let's play a game real quick just Thanksgiving in your mind. You're okay Pumpkin Pie. Raise your hand if you like. It gave him okay. Now keep it up if you ate for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving okay. How many of you? How many of you have apple pie for Thanksgiving? Yeah Okay how do you. How many of you had sweet potatoes to the sweet potatoes for breakfast? No right to write. How many of you have eaten at least two plate of leftovers so far right see? Yeah we'll interact here so so what's your favorite thing to heat. Yup Come on just bolted out stuffing dressing. Yeah that is the best in it like it needs to sit for a day anyway right what else Turkey. He liked her. Yeah how many of you put cranberry sauce on your Turkey. If you haven't tried it. I suggest it if you've tried. You don't like it let your problem okay. So thanksgiving is past. Christmas is here right so some of you went black Friday shopping. Some of you've got a tree up already. We do in our house else. It's okay it's not. It's legal now to do that right. Yeah and like I said before we're going to do. We're GONNA do Christmas a little different than differently this year. It's GONNA be. We're GONNA talk about why Christmas why Jesus came. So if you're looking for shepherds and angels and Maj. I probably not as much this year but you can read it yourself right like we talked about this year. We're going to talk a lot more about why Jesus came in the significance advocates of his coming so today I wanNA talk about prophecy. Yeah you guys into prophecy. No maybe okay. It's weird because prophecy feels weird. Doesn't it it feels like ooh. That's weird stuff. Yeah and people who tend to be prophets are kind of crazy and that's all right me too but we're going to specifically talk about prophecies today in the book of Isaiah so if you've got a Bible or something device you WanNa look at Isaiah fifty two we're going to hone in on today. Okay but is area has so many prophecies about the coming of Messiah who we would called. Jesus right we believe Jesus was the Messiah we So I'd say has so many prophecies about about Jesus coming about Messiah the some people have called it the Fifth Gospel because it's almost like he was there watching what was going on so So this this book becomes really central. It becomes very really central as a source of understanding of what Israel believed what what happened with Messiah came. And so there's this really cool poem in Isaiah Fifty two. I read it down here this morning for advent. But there's this really cool poem that has these words in it. How beautiful are the feet of the Messenger? That brings good news so let's read it together one more time. It's GonNa be on the screens for you. You can have it for yourself and your device in Your Bible Awake Awake Zion. Close yourself with strength put on your garments serve splendor Jerusalem the Holy City the uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. Shake off your dust. Rise up sit enthroned Jerusalem. mm-hmm free yourself from the change on your neck daughters ion now a captive for this is what the Lord says you were sold for nothing and without out money you will be redeemed for this is what the sovereign Lord says. At first my people went down to Egypt to live lately. Assyria has oppressed them. And now what do I have here. Declares the Lord for my people have been taken away for nothing and those who rule their mock declares clears the Lord and all day long. My name is costly blasphemed therefore my people will know my name therefore in that day they will know that it is I I who foretold it yes it is I how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news who proclaimed peace who bring rain good hidings than who proclaim salvation who say to Zion your God reigns. Listen you watchmen. Lift up up their voices together. They shop for joy when the Lord Returns Zion. They will see it with their own. Eyes burst into songs of joy together. You Ruins of Jerusalem for the Lord has comforted his people he has redeemed roussel. The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the side of all the nations nations in all the ends of the Earth will see the salvation of our guide. Wow that is just packed. Full of stuff guys is. He's just packed full of stuff. Yeah and so to understand this passage and we're gonNA talk about a lot today. We have to understand two words okay and so because we get the kids in here WanNa play around with this little bit okay so on this side of the room you guys have got to remember a word. It's a really hard word. Okay the thing you can do it empire you remember that one gate so when I say empire on what you guys to go his okay so empire Okamoto and you better not empire all right. That's good okay this side of the room you guys you get two words okay. Good news or if you really want to be efficient gospel. We'll get to that in a second so anytime time you here. We say good news do a little who right so ready one two three good news there. You go you better and you guys. I'm sorry so so we need to understand these two words right. We gotta understand that these two words and because this this passage I just read the U. and fifty two just chalked full of stuff right and so so as we as we look through these two words. Hopefully you'll start to understand what's is going on in this passage. Okay so the Messenger. In this passage fifty announces something. He announced he says awake awake. Zion what he announces is that the Jews have been freed from their captivity. They were no longer captives. You see up to this point. They had been held captive by a succession of two empires. Here we go guess paying attention there. So the two empires okay are Syria. And Babylon now empires are not good. Okay so what exactly is an empire. Oh we need sound so this is an empire you can move to the next lighting because we could sit and listen to all day and watch a little clip. It's about three minutes long. We won't so what is an empire. Okay so an empire see I'm GonNa Give You keep you on your toes. Here's what it is. Okay so to understand this concept we have to go. We have to. We have to understand that empires do something specific specific. Okay so they control people and land through force so any of these kingdoms that have come before that we would call empires the area they controlled land by force. They use tactical and military force to control the land. And the people right. You know this. You've I've seen this. You've understood this. You can read history. You've been through history class. You could even turn on the news and see it happening right. So that's number one number. Two every empire fire uses propaganda to convince the people that they need. They can only they can keep them safe and the only way that they can keep them mm safe is if they follow what the king or the military or the empire says. Yeah so if they do that then they'll be safe. See Rome had Rome. Had this idea down pat they called it packed Romana okay. The called it punctual mono pox Romana was the piece literally the peace of Rome. Okay but the only way. Peace the peace of Rome was kept is if you followed load what the Romans told you to do. So if your religion your tradition your history said you should oppose Rome. There was no peace for you so the only way piece is kept in an empire is by the boot of the military but they propaganda when convince you all is well. Aw with me the third thing that you need to know notice when you see an empire yeah is they claim Connecticut. They claimed direct connection to the divine. They believed that usually the leader. The Supreme Leader is somehow connected acted to God is a god themselves. Caesar always claim to be God. Yeah favorable in Egypt claim to be God. The Babylonians never really claimed to be God but what they claimed is that they were connected to the first people who were her sons and daughters of God so genetically they were connected. But this isn't just ancient history okay. Mussolini claimed to be a reincarnated Roman Caesar connection to God. Hitler even claimed that he was chosen by God God to set the German people right and start a thousand years rain. You see you can always tell an empire by those three things. Yeah so let's let's go here. Do you think God's cool with Empires No. That's an easy question right. He's not okay with these things. Empires are not good. Yeah but that's just because of these three things these three things. They actually point to something they point to the original sin if you can read that small script up there. That's genesis chapter one for God knows who's that when you eat from e from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God knowing good and evil when the woman saw that. The fruit of the tree was good food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom. She took some ate it. She also gave her husband who was with her and he aided the original sin is at the core of empire. This original sin is is the fact that these he's people want to be God or at least like him. That's the core of all empires. Yeah these things point us to some truth now. Why am I telling you all this good good history right? No you see. Israel had had a problem with empires Israel Israel. Israel was constantly in battle with an empire. Okay there is the succession of empires that they hold them captive. You've that that that hold Israel from being who they were supposed to be now who Israel was supposed to be where the chosen people of God they were supposed to bring salvation to the world they were supposed to rise above all other nations and be this glorious example of what it meant to follow. Hello God in the world and if as long as they did what God asks them to do they would find favor in the nation's and they would find respect and would be that example but when they did night he would send kingdoms in the hold them captive. I've almost like a punishment at the very least these nations would come in because they didn't respect them because they weren't doing what they claim they they were. They were supposed to be here with me. So if if Israel is supposed to be this shining example in the world world and they're not now we understand why they're held captive by succession of empires you with me. Here's the empires that were held. They were held success that they were held by. Yeah so the first. When is the Assyrian Empire in seven? Twenty to see what happens is is the series move in they come into Israel and they take captive captive the ten northern tribes of Israel. They take them off into captivity. We don't know what happens to them after that. But they're going we hear no more. We're about the ten northern tribes of Israel but by five eighty six BC. Something else has happened. Babylon has risen up to take over a Syria Syria and they come into Jerusalem and they take over the to the to southern tribes of Israel with me so far Assyria Babylon by the time is he has written this. Your Act okay. This is where you're at. This is where you're at but then something happens to the Babylonians another empire pyre rises up this empire of the Persians. You may have heard of the Persians before if you've ever read Daniel Ezra Nehemiah you've you've heard of these guys now. They didn't just take people captive. They actually released all the captives that the Babylonians had taken or the Assyrians had taken and they sent them back to their homeland. Say Build your build your cities back but you were still under our control. We're going to send the governor who's WHO's GonNa Watch over you. Yeah and so the so. This person empire really wasn't any any any better than the other empires but uh they let them go home and in about three thirty one BC. The Persians are defeated by another empire. The Greek Empire. You may have heard of the Greek Empire Alexander the Great Anybody. Yeah maybe you've heard of the battle of Thermopylae Sparta the three hundred we all Sparta. You've ever heard of that. That's what this is a guy. So the the Persians the persons are taken over by the Greeks and the Greeks are little bit looser in their governance but they still keep control of Israel. They seem to keep control more about more by by word than by force right. They use propaganda a little bit more than military with me but then and in one forty-six there's a group this small nation. You may have heard of them called Rome with just a city to to start off with but then it became an empire and it came in and it took over the Greeks they took over the Greeks and the Romans are the ones in power when Jesus shows up. We know that Luke Chapter to Luke Chapter two in those days Caesar. Augustus issued a decree that the census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place. While quite Rainey's was governor of Syria. Everyone went to their own town to register. You see Rome was in charge so this this warriors nation of Israel that is supposed to be an an example shining example to the world his now under captivity in has been under captivity under four a four five empires at this point what that means. The watchman of fifty fifty two is still in the watchtower. By the time the Romans take over Messiah has yet to come. There's still held captive by these empires. So when the watchman sees the Messenger who brings good knows. They rejoice just like that and the reason they rejoice is because captivity is over so now we need to talk about good news. Who who now need to talk about it? So the word good news or the phrase good news comes from a Greek word you and so everybody say that with me one two three. UN Kellyanne one. One more time one two three right it comes from galleon which means message and you which means good or noble therefore or four good news there we are. So here's the whole idea behind this is is that there is something good that his being brought or notable that has been brought to Israel and what is the most notable thing that they can hear captivity is over Messiah has come thanks should rejoice. But this isn't just an old testament concept. This is a new testament concept writing this whole idea of good news is a is. A new test is also a new testament concept. Whenever you've heard the phrase Gospel Oh aw there you are you gospel? You're hearing another form of saying good news. Mary are so so so this idea the of Gospel when somebody says to as a Christian I believe the Gospel. They're saying I believe the good news. Well what is the good news that you're leaving keeping you guys on your toes gotta pay attention. Yeah so the good news. The Messenger brought in Isaiah fifty two. Is that the Messiah has come to liberate us from captivity activity that God would reign on the Earth. It's what Jesus called the Kingdom of God. This is why the writers of the New Testament when when they're recording the deeds and proclamations of Jesus. They call it the Gospel. Because that's that's what Jesus came to do is proclaimed the good news of the Kingdom of God and that it had come so you see see Jesus literally saw himself as the Messenger of Isaiah Fifty two seven. How beautiful are the feet of the one who brings good news here? It is now that would be enough to fulfill all prophecy right. That'd be enough. That'd be it we're good however this poem in Isaiah and so many others like it or or not just about the proclamation of Good News Messiah has come. Yeah but it's good news when into addresses the captivity in Liberation from the Empire. You guys are on. Yeah you're with me so you see. That's why Jesus doesn't just claim that he's bringing good news. He just doesn't talk about liberation from captivity. He says that this kingdom has come with me. This kingdom has come with me. I'm not just talking talking about it. You guys with me. So he proclaimed Hebrew claimed a rebellion. Elian that would liberate his people from the Empire but as he did that is river body off you know why. Think about it this way. If you were going to liberate a people you were gonNA come up against an empire right. You've seen Star Wars. What do you do you amass an army you spears and swords and shields and strategies and you go what begins now and every- everybody in Israel new because they had watched their history right? They had watched the succession of Empires. They knew that if you were going to Overthrow your captors. What you had to do was used force? You had to be able to hold the land and convinced the people and make sure you're that they were okay. You had the power. They knew that. But then Jesus says this but then Jesus says this and this New Kingdom if you want to be the greatest person you must be the last you have to be the weakest to be the strongest. The one who loves and serves the poor. Jesus is good. News was if you live. Under God's reign you were spawn to the evil of the Empire with acts of love and mercy healing and restoration and those things they would disarm your captors. This is an upside down wisdom of an upside down kingdom. Tila straight this. I want to take you to Matthew Chapter Eight to store you probably heard before the story of a centurion. Centurion is a Roman Roman soldier who oversees one hundred Romans Legionnaires yeah. He was a centurion and he comes to Jesus for something specific. So let's read it. When Jesus had entered comparing him a centurion came came to him asking for help lower he said my servant lies in home paralyzed suffering terrible? Jesus said to him. Shall I come and helium the Centurion replied Lord. I do not deserve to have you come under my roof but just say the word servant will be healed for. I myself a man under authority thirty with soldiers under me. I tell this one go and he goes and that one come and he comes and I say to my servant do this and he does it when Jesus heard this he was amazed and said to those following. You truly I tell you. I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith now. This guy he knew empire was a Roman legionnaire. He was a Centurion Turing Commander of the Emperor's Army. His Statement of Jesus tells you that he understands us. I say to this one go and he goes and this would come and he comes to Thomas do this and he does so. I'm a I'm someone under thirty. This got understood how the Roman juggernaut worked. Yeah he understood it the one thing though that the empire could not do was heal his servant servant. Someone thing could not do to see his servant healed. This Roman soldier was willing to join the rebellion. He knew that this kingdom that Jesus was proclaiming. Good news about it is could do what Rome could but not do. There's one other turn in the story that you have to be aware of in verses six eight can you go back to the passage and versus six and eight. Look what happens Lord he said this turn replied Lord this is a Centurion who understands empire he says to Him Lord. It's like he's bowing his knee. See He gave him the name that is only due to Caesar. He did that mistake. He wasn't being polite. The Centurion was in a way putting himself under Jesus Authority he saw Jesus as who he he was the Lord and the King of this upside down Kingdom Watch this. The Old Testament is four of prophecy after prophecy after prophecy of on that day when Messiah comes the nations will come to him the nations will come to him and they will bow down and call him Lord. The Old Testament is full of that prophecy. officing in in this story is fulfilled. The Centurion was fulfilling the prophecy because he knew that that Rome could not make him or his servant whole this. This is good news. Okay so what we have here. Is We have defectors from the ruling empire right. Yeah we have a strategy for taking down the empire. Yeah we have a guy calling himself king gene and we have people following him as if he were king. Yeah that's what we have now. You can imagine if you're setting as a Roman official or even a Jewish official. This began to worry because this was a full blown rebellion. What empires due to rebellions? What what they crush them? They squash them. That's exactly what they do see. Empires don't like rebellions. So they arrested Jesus intent on killing him right and if they could kill him they would squash this would billion and solidify their control of the region. So if you're a leader of a rebellion what do you do and true to what he thought. Jesus let them take him captive holding Holding his Krizner and kill him. Because you see in this. It's upside down kingdom the way you take down. Evil is by sacrifice and love this is why when we talk about crucifixion when we talk about Jesus Crucifixion. We talk about him being enthroned is he was. He's giving a crown aerob- any was lifted high so the world could see and they nailed his hands and his feet Lacrosse. How beautiful are the feet of the one brings good news news now for the uninitiated? The rebellion was over the empire had one just one more time they they had squash the ones who had gotten their way because it seemed like that even acts of kindness and mercy and sacrifice and love. We're not strong enough to stop the empire but you see empires. Don't fall from attack. They fall because their insides crumble crumble. They fall because what held them together no longer able to hold them together. Remember what the core of the Empire's you see it sinn why do empires flourish. Why was constantly under the boot of successive empires because of sin because these empires wanted to be God it wasn't armies or powers or weapons it would sin at work through this empire that held Israel and the world captive? You see Jesus's death didn't just take out an empire and leave of backups. One -nother one could move in. He went to its core and says I'm going due to destroy empire for ever for everyone past present and future. We are going to stop at this thing at its core. Someone he dies on the Cross. He radicals sin and death and no longer can empire stand. This is good news. The captives were set free not just the captives in Israel but all the captives everywhere everywhere for all time are set free because God man became a baby an intern in this world and stood up against an empire with love and sacrifice took it down okay on from his insides destroyed empires at their core destroying sin and death. He had to be the suffering servants had to take on transgressions and our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace had to be upon him. It was by his wounds that we were healed. So now you read Isaiah fifty to one ten and a totally New Light. Because it's have been fulfilled Jesus came into the world is Messiah declaring an establishing God's reign on the earth destroying things that would hold us captive sin death in empire. This is good news of great joy because today in the town of David a savior has been born. He is Messiah the Lord. Amen Adam in the guys to come back up. We're going to transition into communion and I can't think of a better moment to take communion. We are full of this idea of why Jesus came of how he took down empire and declared good news by how he destroyed the core of the thing that will hold us captive if we let it. So here's what I want you to do as you eat communion this morning as you remember these things give him honor give him glory. We Joyce like the watchman on on the Tower Zia Fifty to rejoice like Zion rejoice like Jerusalem because the day has come. Messiah is here. Sure and he is. He is set us free common. EAT This is the body of Christ it sets you free from captivity

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