I recall a story I heard one time of a family who was having a christening party in honor of the christening of their newborn baby. Amid all the family and friends coming over and all the eating and drinking and gift-giving and celebrating, one person finally walks up to the mother and asks her the obvious question. “Where is the baby?” In her frantic and panic and fright, the mother runs into the nursery where she finds her baby lying there, dead, smothered under all the coats and cloaks of those who came to the party. They we so wrapped up in all the festivities and celebration that they forgot the real reason why they were there to celebrate!
They forgot about the baby.
As I heard that story, I thought about just how much we in this world today are doing the exact same thing. Around this time of the year that we celebrate called Christmas, many times we get such wrapped up (no pun intended) in all the Christmas dinners and baking and family and friends over and gift-giving and last minute Christmas shopping and decorating and even church activities, not that there’s anything wrong with those things, but sometimes we get such involved in those activities that we forget about the real reason we celebrate the Christmas season. We forget about the baby!
Then I also think about the battle that occurs this time of the year. The battle for the baby, when Anti-Christian forces attack the very nature and foundation of our celebration of the Christian season. I wonder why the average individual does not stop to see this battle occurring and ask “Why are people so opposed to the birth of a baby that they will not allow a baby display to sit on a lawn on public property or reduce Merry Christmas to a mere Happy Holidays? What is so wrong with celebrating the birth of a baby, a baby no less lying in what seems an lowly manger, a feeding trough for animals?”
I believe the reason the battle exists today is that these forces understand this is no ordinary baby, and they do not want to be held accountable for why He was born and what His purpose on earth was for. They think by simply blocking out the displays of His birth and commercializing and secularizing this time of the year will cause them to be free of the accountability of what this baby came to do. What they do not realize is that one day, as the Scriptures so plainly state “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Rom 14:11). One day, every knee will bow to the Most High, to that baby that was born in that manger that night so long ago. Every knee, even the knees of those forces who attempt to block him today, will bow to the King of Kings one day. The question is, who will bow to Him at the Judgement Seat of Christ and hear the words echo from our Lord “Well done, thy good and faithful servant”, and who will bow to him at the Great White Throne Judgement and hear the words “Depart from me, I never knew you.” It’s a choice each of us has to make. It’s the choice that determines our eternity.
I want us to pause for a moment and examine for a bit about this baby. This baby, born over 2,000 years ago in a manger in Bethlehem, and let us examine the characteristics of this baby so that we can indeed know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this was and is, no ordinary baby.
1. He is the Perfect Baby.
This baby, born that night in Bethlehem, is the Perfect Baby (notice I use the tense is since we serve a Risen Savior, a Savior who is not dead but who is alive forevermore! He did die on that cross, but He arose again on that third day and He is alive!). Now at first glance, some may come to believe I am using the term “perfect” to describe the preciousness of this baby. When babies are born, many (especially parents) naturally assume their baby is perfect (quickly realizing far from it!) in that fact that he or she is so precious. While I am sure it was a precious sight to see our Savior lying in that manger, when I refer to the term “perfect”, the verse that comes to mind is Hebrews 4:15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Notice those last few words of that verse, yet without sin. This baby, born to us that night in Bethlehem, was not only the perfect baby in His preciousness, but is the Perfect Baby in the fact that He is without sin. He came to earth so that He could take our sins away, cleanse us from our iniquities, and make us as white as snow.
2. He is a Paternal Baby.
Another attribute of this baby is the fact that He is a Paternal Baby. Joseph was not really His father. He was Joseph’s Father! He was also Mary’s Father, and He is our Father. He was also not a father as an ancestor (as in Abraham being the “Father of the Jews” or George Washington being the “Father of our Country”), but He is our Heavenly Father, our Father who art in Heaven. He is the very nature and image of God, come down to earth in human incarnate form. Matthew describes it this way: “Behold, 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.” (Mt 1:23). Jesus Himself states: “I and my Father are one.” (Jn 10:30). The baby born that night is a Paternal Baby. He is our everlasting Father. His is God with us!
3. He is a Peaceful Baby.
I am of course referring to the fact that He is the Prince of Peace! Isaiah so boldly describes it in Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” He is our Prince of Peace!
4. He is a Pastural Baby.
The baby who’s birth we celebrate is also a Pastural Baby (and yes, that is a word, pulled right out of the dictionary). I am referring to first and foremost that He is the Great Shepherd. The shepherds that night came to visit a shepherd. Not just any shepherd, but the Great Shepherd! The Scriptures proclaim: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.” (Heb 13:20). David wrote in the Psalms “The LORD is my Shepherd.” (Ps 23:1).
Not only is He the Great Shepherd, but He’s also the Lamb of God! The shepherds also visited a lamb that night, but not just any lamb, but the Lamb of God! I love that Christmas carol sung this year that says “Where else could a lamb be born?”. John the Baptist shouted from the banks of the Jordan: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn 1.29). He is truly a Pastural Baby, our Great Shepherd and Lamb of God!
5. He is a Powerful Baby.
Who would have thought that baby, born that night, would be a Powerful Baby? Yet He is, He is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords! The Wise Men, the Kings from the East (and I do believe there were three of them, take a look at Psalm 72:10 for an interesting verse to what I believe is a prophecy concerning the Messiah) came to visit a newborn King, the King of Kings! “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.” (1 Tim 6:15). Our King of Kings is even mentioned in the last book of the Bible, the book of the Revelation: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev 17:14). “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Rev 19:16).
6. He is a Providing Baby.
Most babies that come into our would are helpless, entering in with nothing, in need of care. Yet the baby born that night is our Proving Baby, our Great Provider! David wrote in the Psalms “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Ps 23.1) and in verse 5, “my cup runneth over”. He is our Bread of Life. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35). He is the Great Vine, and we are the branches, abiding in Him, being nourished through Him. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5). He is our Living Water. “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn 4:10-14). “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:38). And lastly, He is our Great Provider, our Jehovah-Jireh. “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gn 22:14).
7. He is a Protecting Baby.
Babies that come into our world are such helpless and in need of protection. Yet our Lord born that night as a baby is a Protecting Baby, our Great Protector. Again in the Psalms, David states: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” (Ps 23:4-5). He is our Protecting Baby, watching over us with His righteous right hand!
8. He is a Penetrating Baby.
I am referring to the fact that His is the Light of the Word! As light penetrates the darkness, so that baby born that night penetrated all of history and penetrates our lives today! “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (Jn 8:12). “5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (Jn 9:5). He is the light that shatters all of the darkness of sin.
9. He is a Priestly Baby.
He is our High Priest! He offered Himself as the perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we could be made whole in the sight of God. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb 4:14-15). “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.” (Heb 8:1).
10. He is a Paving Baby.
Last but certainly not least, the baby born that night in Bethlehem is a Paving Baby, paving the way to the Father, paving the path, the only pathway to God. Jesus Christ Himself proclaims in John’s Gospel: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” When our Lord died on the cross that Friday afternoon, the curtain in the Temple torn, rent in two, in twain, from top to bottom, because through His sacrificial death on the cross, He has paved the way for us to have direct access to the Father, to Almighty God!
These are just ten random attributes to help us to see that the baby who’s birth we celebrate this Christmas is truly no ordinary baby. I am sure there are plenty more, but this is a solid start. In closing, for those that read this message, if you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, and have not yet placed your trust in Him, then this Christmas, right here, right now, you can unwrap the Greatest Christmas Present of all time. It is a gift not wrapped in gold foil, but wrapped in swaddling clothes, not lying under a tree, but lying in a manger (and later nailed to a tree). A gift not purchased with silver or gold, but purchased with the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can unwrap this gift this Christmas.
“What will it cost me?” you ask. And the answer is nothing, since He has already paid the price for the gift in which He has to offer you. All He asks from you is your sins. Surrender your sins to Him. Give them to Him. Allow Him to take your sins, forgive you of your sins, and to replace them with His gift, His perfect precious gift of a new and personal relationship with Him today. Do not delay. Receive this gift today from the One who is, no ordinary baby.