“9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:9-14)
This passage we usually only read during Christmas. However, the ramifications of it carry far beyond the birth of Jesus. It was a statement which would set in motion the whole of Christianity.
First, it was the gospel proclaimed. Jesus is the good tidings of great joy. The coming of Jesus was good news of great joy. What He would do for humanity is truly good news. The gospel is good news. It brings great joy. It’s not a gospel of punishment, judgment, and wrath, but of grace, forgiveness, and righteousness. It really is joyful news.
Second, it was about a savior. Man needed as savior. The law was a burden that no one could fulfill or carry, so man needed a savior. Sin was a heavy load, which caused guilt and shame, so man needed a savior. This savior was Christ the Lord. God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus, to take away the sins, remove the guilt and condemnation, and set us free to live His life in us.
Third, this was peace and goodwill toward men—toward the world. This was the Savior reconciling God and man. This was peace where there was enmity. This was the satisfaction of justice through Jesus toward the entire world. It was God’s good pleasure to end the punishment of sin through Jesus.
It doesn’t have to be Christmas to delight in this passage of scripture. It is what sets us free and gives us joy unspeakable, and a little speakable. Joy to the Lord all year long.