Better than Imagined
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Isaiah 9:2–9:7, Luke 24:13–24:35, Acts 1:6–1:8, John 3:16
Better Than Imagined
Week four in a series about the hope of Christmas found in Jesus Christ
The Christmas Season is full of expectations.
The first century Israelites also had HUGE expectations of who or what the Messiah was.
Expectations will either LIMIT or LIBERATE our hope.
Isaiah 9:2-7 NIV
2 The people walking in darknesshave seen a great light;on those living in the land of deep darknessa light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nationand increased their joy;they rejoice before youas people rejoice at the harvest,as warriors rejoicewhen dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midianʼs defeat,you have shatteredthe yoke that burdens them,the bar across their shoulders,the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warriorʼs boot used in battleand every garment rolled in bloodwill be destined for burning,will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born,to us a son is given,and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peacethere will be no end.He will reign on Davidʼs throneand over his kingdom,establishing and upholding itwith justice and righteousnessfrom that time on and forever.The zeal of the Lord Almightywill accomplish this.
Luke 24:13-35 NIV
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked.“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didnʼt find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Acts 1:6-8 NIV
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The Hope that Jesus brings is better than anything we could imagine.
John 3:16 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus isn't just the hope for Israel, or even the hope for some. He is the hope for the whole world!
1) Invite Jesus to be the hope of your Christmas.
2) Invite others to experience the hope of Jesus this Christmas.