One of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is when God sends an angel to a lowly group of shepherds to make the greatest proclamation the world has ever heard! The angel said to the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
There is no doubt that fear struck at the hearts of these shepherds as they witnessed this heavenly being appear before them. This angelic messenger was also accompanied by “the glory of the Lord” as it shone all around the angel and the shepherds. The angel quickly moved to calm their fears as he instructed them to “fear not.” Are there things in your life that are causing you to be fearful today? Perhaps it is a health report or a financial issue or a family dispute. Listen to the angel and focus not on your current circumstance but focus on the “good news.” All the trials and struggles of this life will fade into nothingness in the glorious light of the “good news” that the Savior has come!
The angel then tells the shepherds that this good news is “good news of great joy.” As you celebrate Christmas on Wednesday, may it indeed be a day of “great joy!” I recognize that the holidays can be a very difficult time, especially if you have lost loved ones during the year. But our joy does not have to be determined by what family members are able to join us or by the presents that may be waiting for us under the tree. Our joy should be great because the Savior has come and He has completed His mission of bringing salvation to all who would believe! We celebrate Christmas with great joy because of what our great Savior has accomplished to the glory of our heavenly Father!
Ultimately the “good news” is that there has been born a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Savior – Jesus’ mission and work center on His role as Savior. He saves His people from their sins by becoming the sacrifice in our place. He takes the judgement and punishment that we deserved and on top of this He gives to us His own perfect righteousness. This is why there is no longer any condemnation for us because we are seen by our heavenly Father as perfectly righteous. We are no longer guilty. We have been set free by Jesus’ saving work!
Christ – Jesus is the long-promised messiah. Both these titles, Christ or Messiah mean the same thing. Jesus is the “anointed one.” Christ is the Greek and Messiah is the Hebrew. To learn more about what it means that Jesus is the anointed one check out this article by R.C. Sproul: Jesus Christ, Anointed One
The Lord – To say Jesus is Lord is a profound statement that we often say without really thinking about what a powerful declaration it is. To say Jesus is Lord is to proclaim His divinity. To say He is God is to agree that He has all authority in heaven and on earth and over every aspect of our very lives.
As we celebrate Christmas let us be mindful of the “good news of great joy…a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” has been born! It may be a little corny and overused but it is no less true – Jesus really is the Reason for the Season!
Merry Christmas and may your celebration be filled with Great Joy!!!