This is a short Christmas talk / thought. It has 2 parts. Firstly, the need for Jesus. Secondly, our heart's response to what Jesus is and has done - as exemplified by the shepherds and the magi in the Biblical accounts :)
How do you respond to baby Jesus?
Jesus was born because we needed him to be born. Right back from when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and was booted out by God, we have needed Jesus to restore us to God.
Jesus was a prophetic fulfillment, right from the Fall
Genesis 3.15 says, “he will crush your head and you will strike his heel” prophesying about Jesus. The verse tells us that Jesus will crush the head of Satan (Romans 16.20 - "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet") and that Satan will strike the heel of Jesus (this was fulfilled when Jesus died on the Cross and the evil one seemed to have a partial victory).
So, right from beginning of time, God knew that he would send his Son, the only one who could 'wash away our sin (and) make us whole again' (Matt Redman, 'Nothing But The Blood' on Facedown CD).
The Last Adam
God told Adam & Eve that eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge would mean they would “surely die” (Genesis 2.17). Romans 6.23 tells us the "wages of sin are death". When Adam & Eve sinned, something needed to die in their place to cover their sin. In Genesis 3.21 we find the Lord made garments of skin to cover Adam & Eve. Today, we need someone who died to cover our sin.
This is why God sent Jesus, the so-called 'Last Adam'..
1 Corinthians 15.22 says, "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."
1 Corinthians 15.45 tells us that, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
The first Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was a man who sinned and saw death introduced as a punishment for mankind's sin. The 'last' Adam (Jesus) was born, died and rose again, so that we could have eternal life. As Romans 6.23 continues to say, "..but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
The first Adam sinned resulting in death, the Last Adam (Jesus) was perfect and gives life, if we choose him.
Quote (unknown source)
“If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Saviour.”
So what was the response to Jesus?
The shepherds: Luke 2 - When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them… The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
The Magi: Matthew 2 - When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
So what is our response to Jesus?
- We first have to accept the Good News about Jesus – Have you done this? If not, today is the day to respond and accept Jesus in your life.
- The shepherds spread the word – Are you doing this? How are you doing this?
- This caused a reaction – all were amazed. If you are not amazed by God and his Word, you’ve never read it properly! This reaction happens when we speak, preach and live out God's Word.
- They returned and glorified and praised God for everything – do you thank God for what he has done? Do you praise him? No matter what we are going through, hearts that can still worship God, are hearts that God delights in.
- The magi were overjoyed to see the star, fulfilling prophecy – God is faithful and he will do exactly what he says. What has God promised to you? What are God's promises in his Word? Stay obedient. He will do what he has promised.
- They bowed down and worshipped Jesus – the place of true worship is facedown. Play the Matt Redman track, 'Facedown' and let the music wash over you (or something similar)!
- They opened their treasures and gave him great gifts – Jesus gave us the greatest gift when he lived here. What can we bring in return? As the Christmas carol 'In The Bleak Midwinter' tells us, "Yet what can I give him? Give him my heart."
This Christmas, the response of our heart to the Revelation of Jesus is to give our lives to him, to fall facedown before him, to praise him with all we have and are, spread his Word and then give him all that we have and are.