Heaven Breaking Through
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Lamentations 1:26–1:33, Song of Solomon 1:20–1:25,
A four week Advent series leading up to Christmas about the birth of Jesus. Heaven broke through this sin-cursed world of our when Jesus was born. He made a way to heaven for us and our hope will one day become our reality.
Luke 1:26-33 NIV
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
Reading the Bible from cover to cover, we discover that angels are supernatural beings whose sole purpose is to worship and serve the Almighty God. They are heavenly in their nature. They are eternal in their existence. They are mostly invisible to the human eye. Angels showing up in the Christmas story is a big deal. Their appearances tell us that there is more to this world than just this world. Heaven is breaking through into our world like never before.
Matthew 1:20-25 NIV
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
Beyond the appearances to Mary and Joseph, angels also appeared to a group of nearby shepherds, giving glory to God and announcing the birth of the Messiah. We also read of an angel comforting the grown up Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as He’s agonizing over the cruel Cross that awaits Him. Thankfully the sacrificial death of Jesus for us wasn't the end of the story. Just three days later, another angel appeared at Jesus' grave, proclaiming the greatest news ever: "He is not here. He is risen!"
Heaven Breaking Through
Angels in the story of Jesus remind us that for the serious problems we face, God has supernatural solutions not superstitious symbols.
Our greatest need in life is much bigger than just more good luck. We need a Savior and heaven broke through into our world so that Jesus could be that Savior for us.
To the Skeptical…
Be open to the supernatural.
If you're a skeptic to the supernatural and the miracle of Christmas, be honest and ask yourself, “Is my skepticism a genuine curiosity or is it deflective fear?” Either way, know that God is big enough to handle your toughest questions and your deepest fears.
To the Superstitious…
Surrender to Jesus because came to be more than just a good luck charm; He came to be your Savior.
In the end, the difference between a superstitious religion versus a supernatural faith ultimately comes down to a matter of control. Surrendering to Jesus moves you from superstition to salvation. Will you cling to control or will you surrender to Jesus and invite Him to be your Savior?
To the Spiritual…
This Christmas keep Jesus at the center of everything in your life.
As Christians, life in Christ and growth in faith are far from automatic. We need to bring our best effort, our strongest energy, and our deepest emotion to our walk with Jesus. Thankfully we're not in this alone. God has given us the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. If Immanuel is "God with us" and Jesus as our Savior is "God for us," then the Holy Spirit is "God in us."
Angels announce Jesus’ coming to this earth to remind us that God’s solution to our deepest problems is a supernatural Savior.
1. Have you ever had a good luck charm? Was it a religious symbol or something else? Why did you carry it?
2. What do you know about angels? Who—or what—are they? Where did they come from? Do we have guardian angels today? These Scriptures will help you:
* Colossians 1:15-16
* Revelation 5:11-12
* Psalm 91:9-11
* 2 Thessalonians 1:6-7
3. We encounter Gabriel four times in the Bible. What do these verses tell us about God’s special messenger?
* Daniel 8:15-17 and 9:20-23
* Luke 1:18-20 and 1:26-38
4. Skim Matthew 1:18-2:23. Was it Gabriel who also appeared to Joseph (4 times!), or another angel not named? What do you think?
5. Where are you when it comes to believing in the supernatural—angels, Mary conceived Jesus as a virgin, Jesus as fully God and fully man? How could you celebrate Jesus’ birth more like the angels this Christmas?
* Skeptical—To be honest, I have my doubts.
* Superstitious—I cover my bases, just in case. We all need some good luck.
* Spiritual—I have good reasons to believe the supernatural details of Jesus’ birth.