Several years ago, a group of historians met and asked a number of intriguing questions. What if the Moors had won in the great historic battle in Spain? What if the Dutch had kept New Amsterdam? What if Louis XVI had been a strong, firm king? What if Lee had won at Gettysburg? What if Booth had missed Lincoln? What if Napoleon had escaped to America?
What would history be like if these events had never happened? They wrote a book after their discussion, entitled If: History Rewritten. Our text for today explores the most profound "what if" in history.
What if Jesus had never been born?
There would be no "God with us."
Some of you remember a standard old movie plot, where an actress or dancer would receive a dozen roses after her performance. The card is signed, "Secret Admirer." The tension of the plot lay in discovering who the secret admirer was.
Finally, he reveals himself, and they go out for dinner, fall in love, get married, and—in the good old days—live happily ever after. From the beginning of human history, we have been hungry to know, "Who is this 'Secret Admirer,' this God who made me?" There was a heart cry from man, and God revealed who he is and what he is like by sending his Son.
Jesus said, "No one knows the Son except the Father. No one knows the Father except the Son. No one knows the Son except the Father reveals him to him." So how do we know God? We know God because of Jesus.
That's why Isaiah wrote, that God became "Immanuel, God with us." Otherwise, God would have no face, no ears, no heart. We would not understand God because, as Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father; for I and the Father are one." If Jesus had not come on Christmas, we would have no knowledge of what God ...