“Joy to the World” is one of the favorite Christmas carols. Why should this be a season of joy? Can a hurting world really have joy?
On a long ago night outside the town of Bethlehem, shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night. Suddenly their night was transformed. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord shone around them. They weren’t just frightened, they were “greatly afraid.”
The angel spoke four things to the shepherds. The first one might be expected, but it of great comfort none the less. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.” He didn’t want them cowering in fear. The news that he brought was good news.
After encouraging the shepherds not to be afraid, the angel continues: “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:10
Behold- see this! The tidings that the angel was bringing were good tidings and he didn’t want them to miss seeing them as such. Don’t be afraid, I’ve been sent from heaven to bring you good tidings of great joy. Not just joy. Great Joy!
Great Joy is the gift to man from God at Christmas. These good tidings of great joy were to be to all people. God sent His Son to die not just for the Jews, but for all men
The third statement by the angel is why we should have great joy, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
What an amazing statement. There was One being born who was a Savior. He would also be the long awaited Messiah or Christ. But more than all that He was also the Lord! Here in one simple statement is the greatest mystery of the universe. Jesus, a very human baby, was also Emmanuel, God with us, sent to be our Savior!
The fourth statement was an unusual sign that would confirm that the good tidings of great joy about the birth of the Messiah as promised in Bethlehem was true. When they went to the city of David they would find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
Not where you would expect to find the Messiah? Not where you would plan to bow down before the Lord? Yet the Creator of the heaven and the earth was lying just as they were told, as a humble baby, which was the Savior, Christ the Lord.
Let there be Joy! A Savior has come, who is Christ the Lord!