Here is the meditation I wrote for our Young Peoples’ Sing-Song on Sunday night.
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
One of the simplest, yet greatest texts in Luke 2 is the angel’s message of good tidings to the shepherds. The angel told the shepherds something had happened that concerned them, something that would give them great joy to hear. In the nearby town, the City of David, a Saviour was born, a child who was Christ the Lord. “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Finally after centuries of waiting the long-promised Saviour came. Finally Isaiah’s prophesy in Isaiah 9:6 had been fulfilled, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The ceremonies of the Jews, the numerous rituals, were pointing to the coming Saviour. Finally the event long expected had come; the Saviour had been born in Bethlehem. Often amid our activities during the Christmas season, we try to point ourselves back to this event as the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of the Saviour. Why do we do this? We do we give so much attention to a baby born in a small town in Palestine? What is so important about the birth of Jesus?
In order to see the importance of Christ’s birth, we must first recognize the reason he had to come, the problem he had to solve. This reason, this problem was the fall of the human race into sin. We were created perfectly sinless, yet we wilfully disobeyed our Creator and went our own sinful way. This way leads to destruction and damnation and all humans are born with the desire to go their own way. Because of the fall into sin, God is at ends with us, he demands that we be punished for our sin. The problem of mankind is how to become right with God. In order to become right with God, we must pay for our sins and live in obedience to God’s law. We cannot do this and therefore we are heading to eternal damnation.
Yet God in his great love, saw the problem man had put himself in. Christ the Son knew that there was one way for man to become right with God, that way was for him to go to the earth, take upon human nature, live a life of obedience to God’s law and sacrifice himself as a substitute for the sins of mankind. He would die so man could live. The amazing thing is that Christ said that he would go and die for the ones who sinned against him and pay for the sins of those who hated him. He would go to take the place of his elect; those who would believe on him for their salvation would be saved because of his sacrifice. Right after man fell, Christ’s work was announced. With the punishment of death, the hope of redemption was given, the man would crush the serpents head, this man was God himself. For thousands of years, men of God looked forward for the promised Messiah and believed that in the future, he would die for their sins and restore them back into the favour of God. The passage we read in Isaiah 40 showed one instance of the proclamation of the coming Saviour. That night in Bethlehem 2000 years ago it was proclaimed to the Shepherds that the long promised Saviour had finally come. The righteous God had kept his promise with sinful man, the Redeemer was born on this earth. God the son had come to pay for the sins of his people and restore them unto God.
The birth of Jesus Christ is important because it is the reason we can have any hope or any joy. Without this birth no promises of life could be given. Without the coming of the Savour, you and I could not be saved. Without this birth, we could never be freed from the power of sin and Satan. Yet it was not as though we deserved this birth of the Son of God. The opposite is true; God would have been perfectly just to cast every single human being into eternal hellfire. Instead Christ offered to suffer the punishment for his people. The Birth of Christ opens up the way of salvation for all who believe in him. This is why the birth of Christ is important: it gives the hope of salvation to desperate, hell-deserving sinners.
The birth of the Saviour is important because it was the fulfillment of the plan of salvation. It was the light shining in the darkness of this world. Isaiah 9:2 prophesies: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” The Saviour’s sacrifice is also sufficient for you and me today. Because a Saviour was born years ago there is hope for each of us. This Saviour is still willing today to forgive sinners and make them right with God. He says in Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Because Jesus was born years ago you and I can be given this offer of salvation. That is why His birth is important.