have on many occasions heard people tell me that it is unthinkable and makes no sense to say that the almighty God came into the world as a baby, allowed Himself to be ridiculed and molested in the way it was done to Him and was and eventually crucified as contained in the history books.
But do you have a child who is very difficult, or witnessed a family who has a difficult child, difficult in every sense?
What do you do in such a situation? Do you leave him to his fate?
I therefore chose for the topic of my sermon this Christmas Sunday "Living with a Difficult Child"
Let us pray
Living with a Difficult Child
Do you have a child who is very difficult? I mean difficult in every sense or witnessed a family who has a difficult child, difficult in every sense?
He does not listen to you. You set rules for him, rules that are for his good but he despises those rules.
He does the exact opposite of what you ask him to do.
He does not take advice.
His name is never mentioned for anything good.
No one says anything good about him.
He constantly brings shame to the family name and he is not bothered a hoot.
He is a truant at school.
He collects the school fees, he collects money for books, he collects feeding allowance but attends no classes, rather he carouses about with his likes from one drinking parlor to another.
He walks late hours. He returns home in the wee hours of the day if he does at all.
He is just an embarrassment to you and you wish he had not been born.
In spite of these his appalling behavior, do you abandon him too quickly? Do you disown him too quickly?
I bet you do not.
Each time you want to abandon him to his fate, it will ring into your ears that he is your blood, and you will not want him to end in destruction.
So, you do all you can, to make him see reasons with you, why he has to behave right. You plead with him, you request people to speak with him.
But after you will have done everything you can, in order to make him behave right and he remains intransigent, then you will say to him "kill yourself if you like, your blood is on your head"
This is exactly our position before God. We all are difficult children of God. But because He is our maker, He normally will not want us to end in destruction. So, He finds it very difficult to abandon us too quickly because He knows our frames, He never forgets that we are the sheep of His pasture. So He sought for a soft landing for us to be reconciled with Him and be saved from destruction and the soft landing is Jesus Christ, whose birthday, we are celebrating at this period.
Let me drive my analogy home with the story of king David and his son Absalom. Absalom was too eager to ascend the throne. He could not wait till David died, so he organized a coup de tat, which sent his father into exile. He raped the concubines of his father in public to confirm that he has actually taken over the government (2 Samuel 16:21-22).
With king David in exile, his loyal troops decided to fight back and Absalom was killed.
What would anyone expect of David at hearing that Absalom had been killed? What anyone will expect of David will be jubilation; to throw a big party for taking his government back.
Not a father.
Instead, David wept for the death of his son. He cried "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son." (2Samuel 18:33).
Actually he gave a clear warning to his loyal troops at the commencement of the war "For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom." And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders" (2Samuel 18: 5)
But Absalom was killed. (2Samuel 18:33; 19).
If an earthly father can do this, what more of God?
Man is a disappointment to God. The plan of God for creating man is to make him the manager of all things He has created. He made man even higher than the angels. He created the angels to serve Him (God) and us. But our forefathers disappointed God and we too the children, from generation to generation are not different.
Our forefather and mother listened to the voice of the enemy of God, Satan. Our forefather and mother started the rebellion with the sin of disobedience. They ate what they were forbidden to eat.
By the time of Noah, God said that He regrets that He made man and He sent flood of water, which wiped off every living thing, leaving Noah, his wife, his three children and their wives, eight people in total to start procreating again (Genesis 6).
The destruction pained God so much and He promised not to destroy man again with water.
But man continues their rebellion against God. Everything that man does is the exact opposite of what God wants man to do.
The Bible recorded in Ecclesiastes 7:20 that there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
We also read in Rom.3:23 "-- all men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"
And we also read that the punishment for man's disobedience is separation from Him into hell for eternity. It says that "the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel: 18:20)
The Bible is not talking about just the physical death here but eternal condemnation in hell.
I am preaching on the topic "Living with a Difficult Child"
But in as much as an earthly father will not easily give up the child of his bowel, so can God not give up on us.
In order to be acquitted from this condemnation, blood must be shed because only blood can redeem life.
The Bible says that without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins (Heb. 9:22)
Why can it not be any other thing but blood that can wash away sins? Why God should make it only blood is a question we may have to ask Him when we meet Him in heaven.
But let us look at it this way. If the punishment for sin is death, then if the sinner must be allowed to go free, then someone else has to die in his place.
So blood must be shed if we must escape the punishment of death.
But who is that fellow who is qualified to die in my place?
That human being must be free of the guilt, which I am charged with, for which I have been condemned.
And since there is not that one person, whose blood is pure from all sins, which can redeem me and you, then we are in trouble. All men are in trouble.
The blood of animal cannot restitute for our sins. Or who is that person, who the court of this earth condemns to death and will ask a goat, sheep or ram to die in his stead?
Has it ever happened that a human being needs blood transfusion and the doctors use the blood of animal? No! it must be the blood of a human being and that blood will first be screened to be sure that it has no impurity.
But just like no earthly father will abandon his child so easily and just like king David preferred to die instead of his son, who took over his throne by force and sent him to exile, God too cannot give up on us so soon.
And because He cannot abandon us to our fate too soon, He had to sort out our case. He had to do something.
So God Himself, who never commits any sins had to transform part of Himself to become human with blood. That human being is called Jesus, whose birthday, we are celebrating at this season.
It usually pains me when people cannot understand this mystery that Jesus is part of God.
No one was ever born the way He was born and that way has never been replicated; that a virgin conceived without seeing a man. And after His case, we never heard it again that such a thing has happened.
When we ordinary human beings were born, as infants, I believe that we still had connection to where we were coming from i.e. heaven but very soon, before we know our right from our left, we lose that connection. Not Jesus. Jesus was ever connected with heaven when He was in the flesh.
He told Nicodemus, the learned constitutional Lawyer "13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven (John 3:13)
Jesus told Nicodemus in plain language that He who is talking to him is the same One, the God who is in heaven.
One of His (Jesus) disciple, Philip asked Him "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus replied, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show Him to you? 10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does His work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me (John 14: 8-11).
So it is clear that Jesus was a detachment from God on earth, though in the world, He referred to Himself as the Son of God.
A paralyzed man was brought before Him for healing and He said to him "Young man, your sins are forgiven"
Jesus could have said something else. He could have simply told the paralyzed man "Stand up and walk"
But present there, were the Pharisees who are the custodian of the Jewish laws, those who we refer to, today as Constitutional lawyers. Religious leaders were also present.
They were annoyed and said among themselves "Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
Jesus told them that He had said it so that they may know that the Son of man (as He often refers to Himself) hath power upon earth to forgive sins (Matt.5:24)
Two reporters, Mark and Matthew reported this incidence and their accounts were the same, not in conflict with each other (Mark 2:3-12 & Matthew 5: 17-25)
What further proof does anyone need before He believes that Jesus is God?
One day a discussion ensued between Him and the Jews. He told them 56 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8: 56-58).
This was Abraham who lived about 2000 years before Jesus came into the world as a baby. Yet Jesus said He had been, before Abraham.
Jesus is referred to as the Word, who was present at the beginning with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:1-3).
My friend, I could go on and on siting many instances, which unarguably confirms Jesus as God, but time is against me in a broadcast of short duration like this one.
Isaiah had prophesied His arrival on earth 700 years before He actually came and among His names were "mighty God" (Isaiah 9:2-7).
Micah, about 700 years also before He arrived had prophesied Bethlehem as the town where He would be born (Micah 5:2).
A prophecy of old is that "a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matt.1:23).
Right from the days of Abraham, blood of lamb was used for the atonement of our sins and this had to be repeated, day in day out, signifying its imperfection. If the blood of any animal can do the ransom, then a repeat, day in day out, monthly and yearly would not have been necessary.
John who was referred to as John the Baptist, spoke by the Holy Spirit as He saw Jesus come unto him. He said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29) .
Jesus never committed any sin whether at the time He was in heaven as part of God or during the 33 years He spent on earth as a detachment from God.
His blood is the only one, which is blameless, which has no stain, which can restitute for our sins. He left His glory in heaven and came to die the death due to us just as an earthly father will do all he can to reconcile with his son.
Jesus said He was the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep 18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily (John 10:11, 18) .
Jesus told Nicodemus, the lawyer "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Just as an earthly father will give up after He had done all and the son remains intransigent, so will God, should anyone neglect this great salvation, this soft landing provided by God.
Jesus told Nicodemus "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18).
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
My friend I close this sermon with the counsel of the writer of Hebrews which says "What makes us think that we can escape, if we ignore this great salvation that was first announced by the Lord Jesus Himself and then delivered to us by those who heard him speak? (Heb.2:3)
Jesus came because of you and me to redeem our lives from hell due to us because of our sins.
He is going to return to earth but not as a baby or to die again but to judge those who do not believe this story and those who do not live godly.
With all these, which I have said, I hope you will be kind to yourself and ask Jesus to come into your heart right now, thank Him for taking the punishment due to you, a sinner. Ask Him to wash you with His blameless blood and write your name in the book of life so that you will be able to live with Him after you die but will not go to hell.
Let us pray.
Sam Aweda, Pastor, Jesus for the World Revival Mission (Peoples' Church)