GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY December 7, 2015

How did the angel say it that night? “Unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” In that one sentence, we have the heart and soul of Christianity. It’s volumes of doctrine in one line. It’s the gospel in miniature.

If He is “the Lord,” this child was somehow supreme over all, their King, their Sovereign. Not Caesar, not Herod, but Jesus. The meaning of Christmas includes this: Christ is Lord.

“Christ” is more a title than a name, like President or Doctor. It means “Messiah,” God’s anointed, the long-awaited one who would fulfill all the OT prophecies. This baby was the one they’d been awaiting for a long, long time.

“Savior” means deliverer, rescuer. Every human being longs for a savior of some type. We look for someone or something that will solve our problems, ease our pain, or grant us happiness. We might try success in business, the discovery of a perfect friend, a new gadget, a bit of long-awaited news. But none of these can possibly deliver. But here, in the burst of light flooding the fields of Bethlehem, we hear good news of a Savior who is finally able to do the job.

The little word “born” implies something very important about this Messianic Lord and Savior: He was a normal human being. Christmas is not about a religious experience or an abstract idea. It’s about a living, breathing baby boy. There was no halo around His head, no glow from His skin. The sign the angel gave them was remarkable only for its humility—they’d find Him wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. It’s a significant point, because we need a real person to atone for human sin. The debt was owed by mankind, so it took a man to pay it.

And finally, “unto you.” This Savior comes… for you! It’s a personal offer, and it must be received personally. Listen again to the praise of the angels: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” The word “peace” means much more than a negotiated settlement or a well-patrolled neighborhood. When God brings peace, He doesn’t leave resentment simmering below the surface, waiting to explode. God’s peace is the answer to our deepest human yearnings. And it’s found in the Savior who suffered God’s righteous wrath against your sins.

Good news of great joy indeed!