December 21, 2017
Page, Table, Cell & Paragraph Properties
He’s the One “whose goings forth have been from of old, even from everlasting” (Micah 5:5); the One whose name is “Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty El, the Everlasting Father, Prince of Shalom” (Isaiah 9:6); the very same soul predestined to be “Ruler in Israel” (Micah 5:2) and a “Savior unto the very ends of the earth” (Micah 5:4).
His wonderful name, the name we say as “Yahshua, “ is the exact equivalent of the name “Joshua,” pronounced correctly as “Yahshua” – as we’ve learned to call him. Even his name means “Yahweh’s Savior.” This Savior might have been given a more resplendent, high-sounding name, like Englebert Humperdinck Elohenu the Fourteenth; but no! The messenger’s instruction to Mary (Luke 1:31) and to Joseph (Matthew 1: 21) was that they should be known as “Yahshua,” a name as common then as “Joshua” is now; a name that makes Him (in a very real sense) one with the commonest of common folk. Folk like us. Emmanuel! Oh, what music accompanies the messenger’s news, “Thou shalt call His name Joshua, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Amen and amen.
He CAME Into the World
“Yahshua Messiah came into the world,” says our text. He came.
Though he was born, he wasn’t merely born. He “came” here, which means he came from a world outside our own. His birth in Bethlehem wasn’t his beginning. Before the child of Miriam and Yosef, he was already “the beginning of the creation of Elohim” (Revelation 3:14). Before this planet was formed, this Savior had his being. With that first tiny baby-breath of cold night air, the King of Ages appeared from beyond the planets to dwell with us as blood-kin; as family! He who gave the stars their names and flames became an infant of skin and bone.
“Messiah Yahshua came into the world.” He knowingly, voluntarily, and compassionately came – to the ugly, to rebels, to rude refusals – to all those who desperately needed him yet spitefully spurned him. He came right into the center of calamity, to live our life, to share our lot, to feel our woe, to bear our sin, then to show us the love of his Father despite our disobedience! ¿Where does salvation begin? That’s where salvation begins!
Moreover, when he came, he came to stay as One Of Us forever. He’s still “Joshua”; he still “saves His people from their sins.” His humanity is no mere transitory or temporary identification, now discarded. His manhood is in some respects a forever condition; and he’ll continue to save all humankind who’ll receive Him – forever and ever, amen.
I heard the story of a young man who was lost in disobedience and hard living. He had an experience not unlike the workman on the roof; the young man came to see his sinful condition to reached out to the only one who could save him. He too heard the reverberating voice,
“The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance,
that Messiah Yahshua came into the world to save sinners!”
and he responded in a way that required he tell somebody about it immediately.
He called an older man he respected – a man he knew was praying for him – a man who’s sitting in this hall today – to tell him of his change of heart. What a wonderful Christmas present – the birthing of Bethlehem’s babe in a young man’s heart. But it shouldn’t have been such a surprise. After all, the mentor here called this young man forth like Spurgeon heralded the man on the glass roof: through the bugle call of prophetic prayer – prayer that sounded all the way down the road to the heart of a lost soul in Pensacola, by way of heaven.
Prince Edward and the Disfigured Soldier
Is it really true – that Messiah Yahshua came into this world to save sinners? Yes it is; it’s a “sure saying”; it’s completely trustworthy. Certainly not all teachings that floated about in early Messiahian days were such models of accuracy and brevity; but this one was. It’s still sure in every single syllable; it’s “worthy of full acceptance.” What was true then is absolutely true now.
Consider Queen Elizabeth’s late brother, Prince Edward. He was a very compassionate man. In his youth, the prince decided to visit a hospital where thirty-six badly wounded veterans of the Great War were being tended. Though each case was hopeless, Edward visited at each bed, shook hands with the vet (if hands he had), and spoke words of encouragement. When he’d finished and they ushered him out, he said to the head nurse, “I understood you had thirty-six patients here; I’ve seen only twenty-nine.” The nurse explained that the other seven were so disfigured that he’d not been taken to visit them for the sake of his own feelings. But the prince insisted, and they turned around to visit the rest. Again, Edward thanked each soldier for the sacrifice he’d made and assured them all that their heroism would never be forgotten.
They started to go, but Edward confronted the nurse again. “I’ve seen thirty-five men. Where’s the last?” He was told that nobody could see that man. Blind, maimed, dismembered, with the most hideously disfigured face of them all: he was isolated in a place he’d never leave alive. “Please, sir; don’t ask to see that one,” the nurse begged. But the prince couldn’t be dissuaded, and the nurse reluctantly led him down the gray corridor into a stuffy, dank cell.
The royal stood there, his face white, lips drawn, looking down upon this horror that had once been his valiant soldier. Then tears broke forth, and with true princely demeanor, Edward bent down and reverently kissed the bloodied cheeks of the broken hero. How many of us could have done that duty of love?
Prince Yahshua Humbled Himself
There are few stories that so adequately illustrate the compassion of our Savior. Yet our Savior, the man of heaven, stooped far, far lower (when you think about it), to kiss a far, far greater ugliness: the leprous, evil repulsiveness of corrupt sinners and hardened rebels against a loving Father’s law of liberty and infinite kindness! No, there’s never been a story to equal this! Descending from cosmic royalty to a dingy manger’s stall, a life of rejection, the hands of a vicious mob, a torture stake – such is the gracious, compassionate, redeeming kiss of the condescending Prince of Heaven upon these sinful hearts of ours.
Thank heaven! “Yahshua the Anointed One came into the world to save sinners!” Maybe now this simple saying possesses more gravity, more meat, more reverence for you than ever before. Is it not “worthy of all acceptance”? To refuse his humility, would it not be the most unworthy and ungrateful behavior in which we could possibly engage? Friend, you may receive this best and biggest and dearest of all Christmas gifts right here and now; for it’s a sure saying and true – Messiah Yahshua came into the sinful world – to save you and me. Let him do what he came for. Hear his urgent voice, embrace is timely call, and then …
Praise The Saviour, All Ye Nations
Praise the Saviour, all ye people, Praise Him, all ye hosts above;
Shout, with joyful acclamation, His divine, victorious love;
Be His kingdom now promoted, Let the earth her Monarch know;
Be my all to Him devoted, To my Savior all I owe.
See how beauteous on the mountains Are their feet, whose grand design
Is to guide us to the fountains That o’erflow with bliss divine,
Who proclaim the joyful tidings Of salvation all around,
Disregard the world’s deridings, And in works of love abound.
With my substance will I honor My Redeemer and my Lord;
Were ten thousand worlds my manor, All were nothing to His Word:
While the heralds of salvation His abounding grace proclaim,
Let His friends, of every station, Gladly join to spread His fame.
Benjamin Francis (1734-1799)