12/11/05, A3B

Isaiah 6: 1-2a; Luke 4: 14-21

ccording to a web site I found this week from a Google search, Martha Stewart can be considered an Old Testament Prophet, if the loose criteria used by some literalists are applied. They might say that the typological foreshadowing of Messianic Prophecy can be found in the following text which could be fulfilled when Martha Steward shares her methodology of designing drapes for a large living room.

“The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second...” (Exodus 26: 2-3)

The author of the article was underlining that the “Out of Egypt…” narrative of Hosea 11:1, which is clearly referring to the historic People of Israel being freed from slavery in Egypt under Moses’ leadership. The practical trip to Egypt by the Holy Family did not need to become an Old Testament prophecy to bolster our faith in Christ’s Messiahship.

Or as the old saw goes, “Where are airplane flights mentioned in scripture? The answer would be, “The Flight into Egypt.” 

Actually, the claim that Jesus made to be God, is enough for me to accept his fulfillment. Or, the fact that he forgave people’s sins shows that Jesus saw himself to be the one true Son of God that had power to remove the guilt from human.  

Christian denominations generally believe that Jesus’ coming into the world, the Incarnation, or Enfleshment, as in “The Word became flesh…” (Jn.1)  came about as a fulfillment of the great hope that Jews had concerning the coming Savior.

The germinal point of this treatise is that the birth of the Christ Child was planned long before the year one. Jesus claimed an ancient prophecy that He was born into this world to carry out and satisfy the hopes and desires the Jews. Also, many other civilizations and cultures had a longing for redemption that they yearned for. There were somewhat similar prophecies of a future satisfaction and atonement through which their children’s children would be able to find salvation. Our commission as evangelists is to make it clear that the plan for universal redemption has been made available to all through Jesus Christ’s great sacrifice and substitutionary atonement for our sins.

 Hear Jesus’ own words as recorded in Luke 4: 14-21, New Revised Standard Version.

 "Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 15He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. 16When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: 18‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ 20And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21Then he began to say to them, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Here Jesus is directly claiming that He was the fulfillment of the Prophet Isaiah Chapter 61:1-2a. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bund up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD..."

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came to fulfill God's grand purpose for the salvation of the people of the whole wide world.

The operative word is “Savior.”

Many of us have seen the Disney motion picture version of C. S. Lewis’ children’s book this weekend, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” Many Christians had worried that “Hollywood” might remove the Gospel from the screenplay, but they actually made it clearer and understandable. Lewis actually defied his friend J. R.R. Tolkien’s admonition not use ant Christian analogies to teach Christian truth. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” contains no Christian figures of speech. Thankfully, Lewis’ persisted.

The Resurrected Lion King, Aslan, who gave his life to save the young boy Edmund, explains what transpired this way, “…when a willing victim who has committed no treachery is killed in a traitor’s stead , the Table would crack and death itself would start working backward.”  (chp.15) When Aslan repeated those words in the screenplay I knew that there would be millions of precious children, and adults, who would comprehend for the first time just what the Babe of Bethlehem had done for them, in their stead.

Jesus’ birth is a celebration of the coming of Christ in human form which points toward the later events that would totally fulfill God’s plan of salvation for everyone. In the Christmas pageant we are able to understand the great price that our Heavenly Father was willing to pay in giving up His Son as a ransom for many.

This is much more than Martha Stewart making curtains.

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
12/11/05, A3B