Advent Day 22: Good News of Great Joy
Today, we light the Green, Black, Blue and Gold Candles. The Green Candle represents life and all that Father God created in Christ, Good and Whole. The Black Candle represents the Evil and Corruption of Sin that entered our World through our rebellion. The Blue candle represents the Hope that comes from the Promises of a future Savior and King. The Gold candle represents the birth of the long expected King and Savior.
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
On the night the Lord Jesus was born, there was no nationwide fanfare or celebration. No grand announcement was made…. Except for one:
2:8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 2:10 And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
2:15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 2:16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 2:17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 2:18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Imagine being one of the Shepherds and receiving this incredible message. The essence of the angelic announcement is this: The King and Savior you have been waiting for has been born! In the City of David, in Bethlehem, The Messiah has come!
The angel says his message is “good news of great joy…. for all people.” This Good News was not just for the shepherds. This Message was not even just for Israel. Nor was it Good News just for that time in history. This Message is for all people for all times. It’s a Message that is just as important to us here in the United States today, as it was to those Jewish shepherds over 2000 years ago. OUR Savior, King and Lord has been born!
This angelic announcement to the shepherds is important for another reason. He announces this new King with three key titles. Each one reveals Jesus’ identity and significance in the unfolding of history.
Jesus is Savior. Jesus came to heal us. He came to make us whole. Jesus came to save us from our sinful rebellion against the One True God. In His earthly service, Jesus heals people both physically and spiritually – releasing people from Satanic oppression, healing sickness, and even raising some from death. Ultimately, Jesus saves by giving His life on The Cross. As the prophet Isaiah foretold, “He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). The baby the Shepherds would find lying in a manger will sacrifice His life to save mankind.
Jesus is The Christ, The Messiah. We have heard this before. This theme is present in Gabriel’s announcement to Mary: “He (Jesus) will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:32–33). The baby the Shepherds would find lying in a manger is the Son of David who will reign forever.
Jesus is The Lord. The term “Lord” points to the One who is “over all.” After His resurrection, in some of His last words to his students before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). As Paul says in Romans 1, Jesus is now the “Son-of-God-in-Power.” The baby the Shepherds would find lying in a manager is The Lord over all creation.
This announcement is so significant, the angel armies of Heaven appear praising and glorifying the One True God and blessing peace to those “with whom He is pleased.” The centuries of waiting have come to a end in this one moment. This small baby, born in the backwaters of the Roman Empire, would not only bring Peace to the world, He would provide a path for mankind back to God’s good pleasure. Any who followed and trusted this Son of God would be “among those with whom [God] is pleased.” The shepherds had every reason to marvel at this message! And two thousand years later, we marvel just the same!
As the years unfold, this Holy Child, whom the angels have just announced, would lead His people in the way of Peace.
And soon His Kingdom will be established and His peace will reign forever.
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