Summary: Angels of the Lord conveyed messages to many concerning the coming birth of Jesus. This story describes and explains the circumstances surrounding the events.
Christmas – A View from the Angels
Characters of Christmas Series – Message Two – 2010
Gages Lake Bible Church
Sunday, December 12th, 2010
Pastor Daniel Darling
If there are main characters in the drama of Christmas—beside the obvious of course (Jesus, Mary), it is . . . the angels. In fact, it seems no scene in the Gospel narrative is complete without an angel.
After 400 years of silence between God and Israel—no prophets, no angels, no judges—suddenly angels begin popping up everywhere.
It began with an angel that showed up in the temple as Zacharias, a common priest, was fulfilling his once-in-a-lifetime honor of lighting the incense on the altar.
An Angel announced the coming of a special baby, born by the infertile Elisabeth. John would be the Elijah of this generation, fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi and Isaiah and signaling that the time of the Messiah was here.
Then an angel appeared to a poor, teenage girl named Mary and announced that she would be the mother of the promised Christ child. The Holy Spirit would conceive in this virgin Jesus, the God-man.
Then an angel appeared to Joseph to assure him that Mary’s child was indeed of God and that he was to fulfill a special role in leading this family and caring for Mary and her child.
An angel came to poor shepherds and announced the birth of the Christ child and then an entire choir of angels filled the Earth with songs of praise.
An angel warned Joseph in a dream about the machinations of Herod, who determined to stamp out the Christ child and told Joseph to move the young family to Egypt. An angel warned the kings from the East to skip their sit-down with Herod.
Angels adorn our Christmas cards. They hang from our Christmas trees. Our children dress up as them. Our carols speak of their joy. But who are they? And what is their role? And most importantly, what does the story of Christmas look like from their view?
Back to the Beginning
To answer the question—what is the view of the angels, I’d like to go back to the beginning, because angels were there before the dawn of Creation and have had a courtside seat to the unfolding of God’s majestic plan.
We first know that angels are real and that they are created beings, created by God. Angels are not mini-gods. They are not eternal. The Godhead—Father, Son, Spirit—are eternal. God always was and always is. But angels were created. We read this in Colossians:
Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
For by Him [Christ] all things were created, in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him.
We know the angels were created by Christ and for Christ – and created before the Creation of the world.
They were created in holiness and with intellect, emotion, and will. But they are not human, they are spirit beings. At times they’ve adopted bodies for earthly duties, but they cannot reproduce after their kind. They also do not die and they have great powers, power that supersedes that of humans.
How many angels are there? We’re not sure, because the Bible says they are without number (Hebrews 12:22). We also know there are of differing classes, they are organized in different groups. There is Michael the Archangel. There are chief princes, ruling angels, guardian angels, seraphim, cherubim and elect angels.
What is the role of angels? They are created as guardians of us, humans. They also are warriors, who do battle against the fallen angels, the demon army of Satan. They also guard the holiness of God.
But mainly, it is the job of angels to worship God.
What the Angels Saw
But we want to get a complete picture of what the angels saw. So I want to take you back to the beginning.
Before God created the world, there was a battle in Heaven. Lucifer, was the highest angel, beautiful and gifted, created to reflect God’s beauty, lifted himself up against God. And the Bible says that a third of the angels sided with Lucifer.
And so Lucifer fell. Unlike man, there is no grace, no redemption for angels.
But even in this, God was glorified. He would show His glory by ultimately defeating the Enemy. God’s glory wasn’t diminished by Lucifer’s fall.
Then the angels witnessed the creation of the world. In Genesis, we see God create the Heavens and the Earth. He created the universe, but one planet in particular got His special attention. It was but a tiny planet, Earth, but had a special place in God’s heart.
He created the beautiful worlds with the spoken word; birds, fish, plants, trees, animals. Millions of variety and species were drawn by the Artist of Heaven.