Summary: For thousands of years, God had been showing man-kind that he needed a Savior. The provided animal skins in the Garden of Eden was a lesson concerning that very truth. It is reasonable to believe that Adam and Eve, who had never seen death, witnessed th
Do you like to get presents? Most people do. One little boy wanted a watch for Christmas. He kept on talking about it, until his dad finally told him he didn’t want to hear anymore about it. It was their custom for each member of their family to take turns, each night at the supper quoting a Bible verse they had memorized that day, and then one of them would lead in prayer. This little guy quoted Luke 1:37 from the KJV: “And what I say unto you, I say unto all, ‘Watch’.”
In our text, an angel came and made an announcement to some shepherds about the greatest present ever given. It was God’s gift to the world, the first Christmas present. It was the long-awaited Savior.
For thousands of years, God had been showing man-kind that he needed a Savior. The provided animal skins in the Garden of Eden was a lesson concerning that very truth. It is reasonable to believe that Adam and Eve, who had never seen death, witnessed the death of little animals in order to have their covering of skins provided. They saw the innocent suffer for the guilty. The sacrificial system of the Old Testament Law was to teach sinful man that he had to have a substitute, in order to escape the judgement of God. Time after time, believers witnessed the innocent suffering for the guilty, as they brought their animal sacrifices. John the Baptist, upon seeing Jesus, said in John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John was saying that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament sacrifices, that He was the ultimate Innocent One, who would suffer for the guilty. Now, the angel was announcing to the shepherds that He had arrived.
He did not arrive in luxurious regalia, with an entourage of dignitaries surrounding Him, as the natural mind might think. He certainly didn’t arrive as the Jewish religious culture had imagined. He arrived as a new-born infant, completely dependant on his mother, but with the sure protection of the unseen hand of His Father.
The Christmas story has many facets of wonderful truth, all rich with lessons for Christian living, but I want to point your attention to just four of the great benefits of the first and greatest Christmas gift.
First, He is The Savior, who is Christ the Lord, says verse 11.
Lord means boss. When the Apostle Paul was knocked down and blinded on the Damascus Road, as recorded in Acts 9, he asked a question: He asked, “Who are You, Lord?” Paul, who was then called, Saul, didn’t know exactly who had laid him flat of his back and blinded him, but he knew whoever it was, was boss!
The word, “Christ,” is not Jesus’ last name. We say it that way oftentimes, but it’s not a name. It’s not a title, either, because Jesus is the only one. It is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word, Messiah, and both words mean, “The Anointed One.” The Jewish understanding of that, was the One whom God had promised to send, who would deliver His people. They just didn’t understand the meaning of that deliverance.
That He is The Savior means that He has come to save. He came to save from the death that eternally separates people from the presence, provision, and protection of God. It is a separation that to a degree begins here and now, but has its ultimate fulfillment in the torments of a devil’s burning hell for all eternity. But, Jesus came to deliver the whosoever wills of this world, out of that terrible plight, into the glory of being a child of God, an heir of God, and a joint-heir of Jesus. He came to take us out of condemnation, into no condemnation, out of being blinded and bound by the devil, into walking in the light and being free indeed.
Secondly, I would point out that this angel said what angels always say, and what Jesus, Himself, said so many times in the gospels: “Do not be afraid,” verse 10.
So, one of the great benefits of this wonderful gift, is that we do not have to be afraid. 1 John 4:16-18 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” That passage says, “God is love,” and Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father,” John 14:9. Now, when you add that all up, you can rightly say that if you’ve got Jesus, you have no need to fear. As a matter of fact, there is no fear in love! Fear will torment you, but when Jesus is working in your life, fear is cast out! To whatever degree fear has control over your life, that is the degree that you are not operating in faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God, according to Hebrews 11:6.