Summary: The ministry of angels in the life of Christ and an imaginary scene re the Incarnation
The Day the Angels Wept
18 This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.
19 Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-- which means, "God with us."
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THE ROLE THAT ANGELS PLAYED IN THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS? It would take an entire book to spell out in detail how the life of Jesus was intertwined with the attending ministry of angels.
Let me share briefly some of the episodes from the New Testament.
1. To prepare for the birth of Christ, and angel appeared to Zacharias to inform him that his wife would be the mother of John the Baptist—cousin of our Lord.
2. Gabriel, one of the mighty angels of God, announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah.
3. A multitude of angels appeared to the Shepherds in the fields to announce His birth.
4. An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream three times: to tell him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife for she was with child of the Holy Spirit; to warn him to take the child Jesus to Egypt so that Herod would not kill Him; after the death of Herod, an angel told Joseph to return with his family to Israel.
5. Angels assisted Jesus when He was being tempted of the devil in the wilderness.
6. In the Garden of Gethsemane, an angel came and strengthened Him as He agonized over the cross that awaited Him.
7. Angels were poised at Calvary, just waiting for Jesus to give the word for them to deliver Him.
8. After our Lord’s resurrection, angels rolled back the stone in front of the tomb so that His disciples and the whole world could see that He was gone!
9. At Jesus’ ascension, angel’s appeared to those assembled and declared, "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)
10. And then, of course, angels will accompany Him as He returns one day to this earth to bring judgment and to usher in His glorious Kingdom.
As Jesus was ascending back to His Father, He was escorted by the holy angels, to be seated at the Father’s right hand. Then even the morning stars ascribed honor, glory, and praise to Him as the Son of the Living God.
On the other hand, some angels remained behind to assure those early disciples that they would always be near—ready to help God’s people throughout the ages to come—until Christ returns in person.
Psalm 34:7: “The angel of the Lord encamps round about those that fear God and delivers them.”
With all of this as background, let’s use our imaginations for a few moments and picture a scene in heaven that could well have taken place on a special night long ago.
Story: “Out of the Ivory Palaces”
There was sorrow in heaven! Can you imagine that? Sorrow in heaven!
It all seemed so strange to two of the smallest angels by the name of Arnal and Pax. They were given the task of carrying the messages for the Master from one end of heaven to the other.
Arnal said to Pax, “I actually saw those things called ‘tears’ in Gabriel’s eyes. Something terrible must have happened to have caused that. Someone said that tears were shed in heaven on only one other occasion—back when the earth was created.”
Pax asked, “When exactly was the first time?” Arnal answered, “I’m not quite sure but I believe it had something to do with the first creatures of earth. They did something that boke the Master’s heart.”