Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Unwrapped Jesus (Christmas Message)


Luke 2:6-7
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Matthew 27:35

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Luke 23:34

34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

When Jesus was Born He Was Immediately Wrapped

The Bible tells us that Jesus was wrapped in “Swaddling clothes” as soon as he was born.  Not only was Jesus wrapped in hand-woven cloth but he was wrapped in human flesh and became like you and I.
The Bible also tells us that Jesus is the Word of God.   He is the Word made flesh.  This is what the scripture says about our Lord:

John 1:1-2, 14

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Word was concealed beneath a covering until Calvary.  The Word was hidden.  The Word was wrapped in human flesh.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8

7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
At Christmas time we all love to receive gifts and most of these gifts are wrapped in colorful papers, ribbons, and adorned with bows.  We do not know what is in the package until we unwrap it.  The gift is hidden by the wrappings.  The gift will only be revealed when the wrapping is removed.
Jesus, the Son of God, was wrapped in a wrapping of FLESH.  Because of this wrapping the religious leaders and most of Israel could not see the Messiah!  The religious leaders said, “Is this not the son of Joseph and Mary?”  They could only see the wrappings of flesh - they did not see the Son of God.
The gift can never benefit anyone until it is unwrapped.  Once the wrappings are removed then you can see the truth.  The truth of the gift can only be known once the wrappings have been removed.

At Calvary His Garments Were Parted

                    Matthew 27:35
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

In other words “They unwrapped Him!”  The wrappings hinder the revelation of the gift.  This was God’s plan from the beginning.

Matthew 13:13

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
2 Corinthians 3:14
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
When Jesus was born He was Wrapped, and when He died they Unwrapped Him.  It is Calvary that reveals the Unwrapped Jesus.  The purpose of Calvary is to Unwrap Jesus.  The Roman soldiers took Jesus’ garments from him and hung him naked on the cross.  Then they all cast lots to see who would take the garment home.  It was an unwrapped Jesus that died on the cross.

Two Naked Men

                   It was a naked man that brought sin into this world.  Adam was naked when he ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  It was a naked man that brought righteousness into this World.  Jesus was naked when He hung on the Cross and secured our righteousness.  It was an Unwrapped Man that brought sin, and it was an Unwrapped Man that cured sin.

          Romans 5:19

19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  
A naked man got us into the mess and it was a naked man that brought us out!  The unwrapped Jesus overcame sin.

Today People Want Jesus to Remain Wrapped

They want Jesus to remain wrapped in the Swaddling Clothes of Religion and Denominationalism.  They want Jesus to remain wrapped in False Teachings and unbelief.  They want Jesus to remain wrapped in Superstition and Tradition.  They wrap Him in False Love.  They wrap him in ethics and morality but Jesus came to give us much more than an ethical lifestyle!  Jesus came to make us New Creatures!
People are afraid to confront the Unwrapped Jesus!!!  It is the Naked Jesus that condemns us of our sin.  It is the Naked, the Unwrapped Jesus that rebukes our sinful living.  People want Jesus to stay wrapped, for when he is unwrapped there will be no excuse for their sins.
Today they wrap Jesus in Biker leather, in Cowboy denim, or even in Surfer shorts.  They try to remake Jesus in their image.  They do not want the unwrapped, the raw Jesus.  They want a Jesus that has been created in their likeness and image.  Salvation will only come from the Unwrapped Jesus!
When confronted with bickering and feuding in the Corinthian Church, Paul said these words, “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).”  Paul was simply saying, “I choose to know nothing but the unwrapped Christ that was crucified.  This is the only hope of this world.

The Unwrapped Jesus

The unwrapped, the naked, the raw, the uncovered Jesus is what we need today.  The unwrapped Jesus of the Cross is what we must see! 
Jesus was unwrapped of the mortal flesh, and now He is fully revealed as the glorified Christ.  It is this Christ that saves mankind.
At His birth they wrapped him in swaddling clothes.  Oh, he was wrapped in so much more than cloth – he was wrapped in human flesh.  These wrappings were stripped away and the truth was revealed.  Jesus came to save us!  Only the Unwrapped Jesus can save us!  Only the present that is unwrapped can bring us life! 
A wrapped present will do you no good.  Only those presents that are opened can bless you.  We need the Unwrapped Jesus!  This world needs the Unwrapped Jesus!  Call on Him and He will come but do not expect a wrapped, religious Jesus to come to you, but look for the living Christ who will lift you out of your sin.

Message given to me by the Lord around 1995 and preached several times at Christmas. 

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