I bring you good news of great joy.
For unto you is born … a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
This shall be a sign unto you; you should find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
These are the words from Heaven spoken by angels to the shepherds who watched their flocks by night. They are recorded in the Christmas story recorded in the gospel of Luke. Every one of these sentences is personal, direct, and clear. This marked the beginning of Immanuel, of God with us in time on earth.
Christ the Lord took the name of Jesus, as He came into this world and lived as we live. God came more than close to us. With the dust from which He formed man, He clothed Himself. This is how He so loved the world – He entered this world, and He experienced this world. He came to encounter everything about being a human being.This is how He so loved the world – He entered this world, and He experienced this world. Click To Tweet
This humanity of His came to be so that He could bear the weight of the sins of all men, born at all times, into all circumstances. “He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” so reads 2 Corinthians 5:21. He was and is still now our Priest and our Lamb, the one who offers and is the offering itself.
Altar to End All Altars
The Cross was the altar to end altars. There, at Calvary, Jesus was literally lifted up from the earth to be the once and for all sacrifice for sin. Nailed to the tree, He hung cursed and felt the forsakenness of our lost-ness, as all went dark when He was left alone to absorb justice, to pay all the wages of sin with His death.
This body wrapped once in rags in a manger was wrapped once more – this time for burial. Two of the “wise” men in Jerusalem at that time, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimithea, brought Him myrrh and wound it within His grave clothes. His lifeless body was then carefully placed in a tomb as the sun set to mark the beginning of the Sabbath.
Darkness fell again – for the second time on that day of His death. And what a darkness it must have been for those who followed Jesus. He had said and done so much. What questions must have been burning in their hearts and minds.
On the third day, angels spoke again words from Heaven. From them came more good news of great joy.
He is risen, just as He said. Go, tell His disciples.
The Savior born did die, but the Savior did not stay dead. Alive now, for us and forever, is Christ the Lord. All was Light again, just as it was that night when the shepherds heard angel words and angel songs.
Alive with Him
More than being with us, God is in us who believe and call upon His Name. He has sent His Holy Spirit to fill us. We were swaddled in the rags of our failures. We were dead in our trespasses and sins. But born again, we now are alive with the life of God.
The humanity Christ took up on that first Christmas morning remains alive. Resurrected, His body was seen and touched, and His disciples watched that same body soar through the clouds to the throne of God. Ascended, He lives as our Advocate and Intercessor.
Once, He came to a manger; now He rests in glory at the right hand of God.
This really is the good news of great joy.