Saturday, December 24, 2016

Reason for the season Part III

He is Christ the Lord, A foundational truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

This is part 3 of my creatively titled series, "The Reason for the Season." 

We’ve been looking closely at this passage announcing the birth of Jesus. We talked about Why Angels and Why Shepherds? Many don’t realise, the law was given to Moses by God but it was delivered with ten-thousands of angels. Deut. 33 tells us that as well as the books of Acts and Galatians. Well, here, one angel delivers the news but he is joined very possibly by ten-thousands of angels! But too my knowledge, this is the only time, after the birth of Christ, that angels announce Jesus. You see, that’s up to humans now. God has made it His Plan A, that people will tell other people about Jesus. Or as Paul put it, “How shall they hear without a preacher?”
And Why shepherds? The lowest group in society, they were dirty, smelly, caretakers of the dumbest of animals. But God designed his Gospel for the poor and the outcasts. In fact there is a very real sense in which the gospel brings all people very low before it lifts them up.
Then we looked at the first great statement the angel made, 
     Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city
      of David a Savior.
A Savior! Jesus did not come to take away all your troubles. Hate to break it to you. He even told us, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Jesus came to save us from our sins! He took our sins upon Him that we might be made holy before God. He didn’t come to make us prosperous or popular or pretty. He came to save us from our sins! He told the shepherds what he already told Joseph in 
     Mat 1:21, She will bear a son, and you shall call 
     his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 

But then the angel enlarges the description. The rest of v11 says, 
     a Savior, who is Christ the Lord

Savior, Christ and Lord. Terms we throw around in church but what do they mean? We looked at Savior so let’s look at Christ!
This is the Greek word for Messiah. It means the anointed one.
Well generally speaking there were three classes of people who were anointed. Know who they were? Prophets, Priests and Kings.[1] Which one was Jesus? 
As a prophet, Jesus spoke the Word of God, in Fact He was the Word of God in the Flesh! He communicated the will of God to us. As well as His love and all of His attributes! Just as words communicate ideas, Jesus communicated God to us - He is God.
Jesus the Priest was our go-between with God! He became a man, dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, took our sins and paid for them with His blood. And the Bible suggests that the very blood of Christ was sprinkled in the Holy of Holies in the heavens. The blood that washed away our sins!

Jesus our King – Our King – rules and reigns over the universe AND over our hearts and lives. Remember when the wise men came looking for a King who was born? They came to Herod,who was a governor, so Herod asked his scholars about this. They told him what Malachi had prophesied, the messiah, who would reign, would be born in Bethlehem. These wise men had a better idea of who Jesus was meant to be than many in Israel! He is a King!
Jesus is the anointed one, the Christ, the Word of God, the High Priest and the King of Kings!
And the Lord of Lords! That’s the other thing the angels said.

What is a Lord? Simply it is one with authority, a master or boss. It is used of masters of slaves as well as emperors. But here’s the thing, the disciple began to call Him Lord early on. They owned Him as their master and teacher and ruler. And that’s the bottom line isn’t it? Jesus is King of Kings but there will be those who rebel against the King to the death! They won't bow the knee until they are banished from His presence.That doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t King! But will He be your King? Will He be your Lord?

I want to show you something interesting. Who did the Angel says this Good news was for?

      “For I bring YOU good news of great joy...
      “For unto YOU is born this day…”  
There is a great personal, individual announcement going on here. YOU! For YOU is born a Savior! This is the narrowest part of the announcement! It comes for you! Each Shepherd was told the Savior came for them!
But the angel adds, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” This makes the announcement much widerr, but, not as big as you might think. When God speaks about “The People” He invariably is talking about His people, Israel! But that is still a lot more than just you!
Think about it, where did Jesus spend his whole life? In Israel. Except for an early childhood in Egypt and the occasional sidetrip to a neighboring country. Jesus came for Israel! And did they receive Him? Or did they say “Crucify Him”?

But GOD makes this even larger. Is it good news for me and you? Its good news for Israel! Its good news for a few shepherds. But, I’m just a tiny fraction of being Jewish, so I’m probably 99% gentile! What about me and you?
Later in this same chapter (V28), the Bible says a man named Simeon was “in the Spirit” and when he saw the baby Jesus, v28 says,
     “he took him up in his arms and blessed God 
      and said, 29 "Lord, now you are letting your 
      servant depart in peace, according to your word; 
      30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that 
      you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 
      32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for 
      glory to your people Israel." 

Jesus is a Light for the Gentiles!
When I was a boy we sang the hymn Jesus Included MeAs a child I didn’t get it. As a teenager I didn’t get it.
Then one day He became a light to this gentile. And I got it. He is My Savior, He is my Messiah, and He is My Lord!
He’s the boss of me! I don’t always act like it I know!
But He is. 
And I’m more than willing for Him to be my Lord, Supremely Because He Is My Savior!
Is He yours?

[1] Smith’s Bible Dictionary

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