The Gospel of Luke chapter 2 is a familiar passage that provides a wonderful, detailed account of Jesus’ birth. In the middle of this description is a declaration by an Angel of Lord that states the purpose for not only the entire Bible, but for Christ’s reason for being born. “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'” Luke 2:10-11 ESV During this time of year, we allow our thinking to confine Jesus to a baby in a manager alongside His faithful mother Mary and stepfather Joseph, and too often we lose sight of the truths provided by the angelic messenger of God. The angel brought good news of great joy to all people. The Greek word here for good news should be familiar to us, it’s euaggelizo as we’ve discussed here before it means “to bring good news” or “to announce glad tidings” and it’s where we get the English equivalent to preach or evangelize the Gospel, or good news. The apostle Paul uses this same Greek word in Romans 10:15 NKJV, “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” The King James has a great translation here because it shows the usage of this word euaggelizo twice, “the gospel of peace” and “glad tidings.”
But what is this good news that the angel is speaking of at the birth of Christ and just how is it supposed to bring great joy to all men? Here is where we must not allow our minds to confine Jesus to a child, instead realize this is God incarnate and recognize the foreshadowing that the angel is providing as he continues his message in verse 11 and pronounces the arrival of a Savior, Christ the Lord. Think about how significant this is, that Christ was born to die for our sins. (John 3:17) It wasn’t tragic circumstances or something unfortunate; this was the original plan, for Him to die for us. The angel of the Lord pronounced that at His birth with the statement “a Savior is born.” Prophets of old declared this would be so as we read of His birth in Isaiah 9:6 and of His death in Isaiah 53:10. Christ came to this earth with the sole purpose of dying for your sins and mine. How can this not be good news? This is the great joy that the angel speaks of. This good news is that a Savior has come to not only take away the burden of our sins, but to impute His righteousness on us (Romans 3:22) and through this divert, or propitiate (Romans 3:25), the wrath of God from us to Him. This is so much more than memorizing John 3:16 and reciting it in “ho-hum” fashion. God sent His Son Jesus into the world to take the sins of the world on Him and then to die for those sins so that we might live if we only believe. That’s love! How can we not trust in a Savior that did that for us?
Each of us knows that death is a reality. But do we every really think that we are born with the purpose of dying? Add to that the amazing truth that Christ took on the sins of the world those before his death and after and you get just a glimmer of how amazing this transaction was for us. II Corinthians 5:21 ESV says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Who made Jesus to be sin? God did. God sent him to earth to be sin for us, even though He was pure and sinless, so that if we believe and trust Jesus as Savior we might have the righteousness of God in Him. Meaning literally that if we trust Christ we will be able to stand at judgment before a Holy God, not because of our own righteousness or anything that we’ve done, but because of the righteousness through Jesus, so that at that judgment we shall be declared not guilty of our sins. Do you realize what good news this is? This is truly the greatest gift of all and that is exactly what Christmas is all about: Behold good news of great joy! A Savior is born, Christ the Lord.