Ever heard of Banksy? He’s defined as a graffiti artist. The exact dates are debated but his (or her) work first began appearing in the early 2000s. At the London Zoo he climbed into the penguin enclose and painted “we’re bored with fish” in 7 foot high letters. Next, he made his way into the Bristol Zoo and painted “I want out. This place is too cold. Keeper smells. Boring. Boring. Boring” in the elephant exhibit.
So while we don't know his identity we at least know that he’s pretty gutsy to sneak into animal exhibits at zoos! Does or did he have an inside connection? Likewise, he seems to be an animal rights activist, but who is he?
In March of ‘05 he placed subverted artworks into the Museum of Modern Art in Brooklyn. He’s also placed his own work in famous art museums. So once again, we have to wonder if he has connections into the art world. Did he get a temp job as a janitor? Security? Inside connection? Likewise, he seems to have somewhat of a sense of humor. A twisted one perhaps, but a sense of humor nonetheless.
Since then he’s also painted at least nine images on the Israeli side of West Bank barrier, which seem to indicate that he’s a political satirist, but who is he? There are a number of theories, and at this stage it’s quite likely that he has impersonators as well.
Who is God? Volumes and volumes have been written. Theories and opinions abound, but who is He really?
With the arrival of Jesus at the first Christmas, the curtains are once and for all pulled back. Jesus came to reveal God’s identity. Here’s what I mean:
Jesus came to communicate a message. God loves you and God is for you. This is why we call it Good News, i.e. the gospel. He had communicated this before through His prophets and through His Word, but this time…He came in person to do it. Today it’s sometimes hard to get the facts. In addition to fake and political correctness, there’s also news with political agendas that sweep objective truth under the rug. People can pretty much say anything about anyone without any veracity filters. It can be hard to know what to believe. Yet most people, still prefer truth.
Have you ever heard the expression, “Straight from the horse’s mouth”?
It’s a term that comes from horse racing. Bookies are always looking for every advantage and so they would approach owners, trainers, jockeys, and even stable boys to get info regarding a horse’s welfare. These conversations would go something like, “The trainer told me…” or “The jockey says…” etc. But, if you said you’d heard it from the horse himself, well that would outclass the others.
God came, in person, to give the truth in person. In fact, He would even say that He was the very embodiment of Truth (John 14:6).
Whenever we communicate in person, it’s more personal. God in person said, "I tell you the truth, those who listen to My message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” (John 5:24 NLT)
The Good News of Christmas is a message that your life can be better. You cannot only have a more purposeful life here, but you can have everlasting life.
What to do with the Truth?
Truth is, sometimes we don't like the truth; but truth is, we need Jesus to save us from our sins. We’ve all messed up. None of us are good enough to work our way into heaven. Truth is like turning on a light in the dark. If you’re walking down a dark hallway and can see just a little light it will guide you. Jesus also said, “I am the Light of the World.” One of His disciples, John wrote about His time with Jesus and on one occasion he recorded Jesus saying, “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world” (John 12:46)
We live in a dark world. I’m sure you’ve noticed that things in the world are pretty messed up. However, there are also some things in our own life that are messed up. I sometimes hear people say, "in a perfect world...". Most of us sense this. We know things aren’t right in the world and that there's sometimes a tension or distance between us and God. Jesus has come to reverse this curse. He's come to make things right. Every miracle He performed was a snapshot of how things should be, will be, in His Kingdom. But, He didn't just come to make the world right one day. His priority is you and I. His priority is to make things right between you and God, i.e. you and Jesus. And this is good news because He’s done the heavy lifting. He lived the perfect life we could never live, and He offers forgiveness and everlasting life as a gift. It’s somewhat like a gift card. Companies love gift cards because once purchased they already have their money. The question is, will the recipient utilize it? The same is true with us. Like a gift card, your sins have already been paid for. The question is, will you receive it? How do you do this? You acknowledge to Jesus that you’ve messed up, you’ve sinned. You ask Him to forgive you—He will. The Bible says, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). This Christmas, why not receive the best gift you possibly could—forgiveness and everlasting life.
More this Sunday at 9:30am and Monday, Christmas Eve at 5:30pm and/or drop me a note below if you'd like to discuss this further.