November 26, 2023
When you hear of the hope of Christmas you must realize there are several meanings behind that expression. For many people the hope of Christmas is the warm and fuzzy feeling they recall as a child looking forward to the time of opening gifts from Santa Claus. For others it’s the hope of getting together as families. Still others have a hope of Christmas peace and good will toward all men going forward into the new year and spreading throughout the earth. What then is the true hope of Christmas?
Before we investigate the true hope of Christmas, let’s get a definition of the object of which we are talking. Hope according to biblical definition is an expectation that is grounded upon fact. In other words, if it is merely an expectation based upon feeling then you have a wish. Let’s face it, the majority of what is called “the hope of Christmas” is merely a wish. The hope talked about in the Bible is a sincere or earnest expectation based upon the fact of Scripture, namely the promises of God.
Based upon God’s promises concerning the coming Messiah (Christ), we have a word of hope that was presented in the midst of darkness. Let’s look at the last words of promise in the passage in Isaiah 9:7 the zeal of the Lord will do this.
The hope presented is not the wish of man, but the statement of fact based upon the reliability of God.
Isaiah 9:2 (ESV) — 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:6–7 (ESV) — 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
The word Christ in Christmas is the key because the true hope of Christmas centers around the person of Jesus Christ who stepped into our world to purchase our salvation from the wrath of God in saving us from our sins. He came to declare to us the glory of God the Father, execute the will of the Father completely, and return to His home in heaven as the mighty conquering King who won the victory over sin, Satan, and death on our behalf.
John 1:14 (ESV) — 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:16 (ESV) — 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
Philippians 2:5–11 (ESV) — 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Romans 1:3–4 (ESV) — 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
As His resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God with power, so His ascension back to Heaven gave us hope in His second coming. Again, this hope is not based upon the “good feelings” of man or tradition, but upon the reliability of the word of God.
Hebrews 10:37 (ESV) — 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay;
1 Corinthians 15:50–58 (ESV) — 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
The hope of Christmas is in the person, purpose, and accomplishment of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you need hope at this Christmas season – look to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bob Brubaker, Pastor