Bahan Alkitab: Matthew 2
Gifts for the King
The birth of Jesus Christ has been celebrated for centuries. It is one event that is celebrated by every country in the world by both the believers and non-believers, although the non-believers do not have the correct understanding of the birth of Jesus Christ. Why is Jesus Christ so extraordinary that the whole world celebrates it?
· Jesus Christ’s birth is extraordinary
· His life is extraordinary
· His death is extraordinary
· His resurrection is extraordinary
· His ascension is extraordinary
Can you think of any person in the world whose features like Christ and so to be celebrated by the whole world?
Jesus Christ’s birth was extraordinary, because His birth was planned a very long time ago, actually, outside of time and to be exact: in eternity. Our salvation is something that God had planned in eternity. To fulfil His salvation plan, God gave His promise of a Saviour:
· Genesis 3:15 – I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
· Isaiah 9:6-7 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
In God’s promises, there is a covenant: Zechariah 8:8b – and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.
Jesus Christ’s birth was extraordinary, that it is God Himself who incarnated to become human to be among us. His birth was without a human father but conceived by the Holy Spirit. Why must become a human and why virgin birth? Our Savior had to be genuinely human and truly sinless in order to be our perfect substitute and pay our penalty of guilt before God by His death. Without the virgin birth, there would be no salvation for sinners. Jesus Christ would be a sinful human being.
Jesus Christ’s birth was extraordinary that his birth was announced by the angels. The angels broke the good news for all people. It is to sinners that the angels bring good news of great joy.
We praise and thank God for sending Jesus to redeem and save us. What can we offer as our thanksgiving gift?
When Jesus Christ was born, he received very special gifts from the Magi, or wise men, who travelled from the East in search of the Christ child. The Magi brought these gifts to Christ: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
These gifts are special because not only are they valuable but also symbolised the roles that Jesus would be fulfilling: king, priest, prophet and Saviour
o a precious metal.
o The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity as God and King of kings.
o The English word frankincense derives from the Old French expression franc encens, meaning “high-quality incense”. The word franc in Old French meant “noble” or “pure”.
o Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out.
o The Book of Exodus (30:34-38) prescribes frankincense, blended with equal amounts of three aromatic spices, to be ground and burnt in the sacred altar before the Ark of the Covenant in the wilderness Tabernacle, where it was meant to be a holy offering. Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a holy sacrifice, analogous to a burnt offering.
o Myrrh is also obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense but of different species. It was a spice and was used in embalming.
o This is to foretell Christ’s suffering and death, that Christ would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
Christ as Prophet:
· In the Old Testament, a prophet is a messenger of God, who brings God’s words and teachings to man. This included both proclaiming God’s truth to others and revealing God’s plans for the future.
· Jesus is the Word of God. John 1:1-2 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
· He does not simply speak the Word of God as a mere human prophet but is Himself the Word made flesh. John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
· Jesus taught the Word of God, Jesus foretold the future, Jesus performed multiple healings and miracles.
Christ as Priest:
· In the Old Testament, a priest serves as a mediator between men and God. It was the priests who offered sacrifices for sins on behalf of the people.
· Jesus is our Mediator and our High Priest.
· 1 Timothy 2:5-6 – For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
· Christ offered his own blood before the presence of God on our behalf for the forgiveness of our sins (Hebrews 1-10).
Christ as King:
· God promised David in 2 Samuel 7:16, “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
· Jesus rules over all things, He has all authority in heaven and on earth
· Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords
· He conquered sin and death
· He defends us
· He preserves us
From eternity, God has loved His people. Christmas is the visible demonstration of God’s love, by sending His only Son to the world to pay the price on Calvary and bring victory as the ultimate King with His resurrection and ascension.
On Christmas day, when Christ was born in the world, it means that the Kingdom of God has come. Pak Tong taught us about the important aspects of the Kingdom of God:
· The ruler: Christ
· The people: those who have been redeemed by Christ
· The territory: this world
· The law: God’s Word
Are you part of the Kingdom of God? Are you one of God’s people? If Yes, then Jesus should be reigning fully as King in your hearts.
What can you give as a thanksgiving gift to the Creator of the universe and you, to Christ who has purchased you with His life? Let me also share with you one Christmas message shared by Pastor Adrian.
· The Magi offered valuable gifts that can’t be made, that need to go through delicate processes to become something beautiful and fragrant. What valuable gift can you offer to Christ?
· You can offer your life, the life that has been redeemed by Christ. You can’t make this new life. It is a new life that Christ has given to you. Are you willing to offer your life to Christ, let Him fully govern your life, let him purify you and use you to be something beautiful and fragrant in this world?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16