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ISAIAH 53: 3 -7 "WHAT IT COST GOD TO LOVE" Intro: The Christmas story is a beautiful love story. "For God so loved.." I. BEAUTIFUL PROPHESIES PRECEDED THIS CHILD BORN THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM. A. "For unto us a child is born... B. Angel to Mary, "He shall be great... C. He was born to reign and rule over the whole earth. 1. "Ask of Me and I will give unto thee..." 2. "In Him shall the gentiles trust." D. His birth was heralded by angels, and marked by a special star, the hope and desire of the nations had come. This baby was destined for greatness. II. THIS BABY BORN THAT NIGHT IN BETHLEHEM DESTINED FOR SUFFERING AND SORROW. A. "He is despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows..." B. "Psalm 22, beginning with those fateful words, "My God, My God..." describes the agony of death on a cross. III. THE MYSTERY OF LOVE. A. One of the strongest forces in world today. 1. It will endure pain. 2. Make any sacrifice. 3. Rise life itself, to protect and shelter. B. It is a heavenly emotion man has been allowed to experience. 1. It will be the prevailing emotion of God's kingdom. IV. THINK WHAT IT COST GOD TO LOVE THIS WORLD. A. Man had utterly failed in the purposes of God. 1. "All we like sheep have gone astray. a. Rather than submitting to God, rebellion against God. b. Rather than knowing God, ignoring God. c. Rather than fellowship with God alienation from God. B. "And God laid on Him the iniquities of us all. 1. On who? His only begotten Son. a. "He was wounded for our transgressions." C. For God to send His Son to reign I can understand. 1. Man in his efforts to govern himself has fouled things up so bad it will take God to straighten things out. a. Without divine guidance, Carter doesn't have a chance. 2. To bring the power and praise and glory to His Son. I can relate to that. D. For God to send His Son to suffer and die, I have greater difficulty relating to that. E. Pity could motivate Him to send His Son to reign. F. Only love could motivate Him to send His Son to die. Isn't it sort of a shame for you to celebrate Christmas if you are crucifying Him instead of crowning Him.