Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 22, 2016

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

In the heavy-duty hustle and Holiday hype it is easy to lose track of our hope during the Christmas Season! Ironically, when the angels appeared on the evening of Jesus' birth they announced good news of great joy to a world that had largely lost hope.

Throughout this Advent Season I have been commenting on the "big ideas" associated with Christmas: Love, Peace, Hope and now, Joy! It is impossible to separate these ideas from Christmas.

So, what is joy?

Could joy be the presence of love, peace, and hope in a human heart?

Certainly, it is hard to have a heart filled with love, peace and hope but not feel joy!

I hope that in your often manic quest for a memorable Christmas you won't find yourself losing your love, peace, hope or joy!

But the joy the angels proclaimed was not just joy. They proclaimed "Good news of GREAT joy!" Great joy sounds even better than joy!

The good news the angels announced is that joy has a name and the name is Jesus. And Jesus will bring more than joy He will bring GREAT joy because He will be the Savior, the Christ and the Lord!

Jesus brings joy as a Savior because only He could bear the awful penalty demanded by our sins. Only He, the Second Adam, born sinless by the miracle of the virgin birth, could be the Savior for you and for me!

Do you know Jesus as YOUR Savior?

Joy has a name and it is Jesus, the Savior!

He wasn't born as the Savior, He had to die a brutal death on a rugged to get that title.

But joy has another great  Name, Jesus the Messiah! He is the "Anointed One", the "Promised One", the "Perfect One" to reconcile God and Man! The perfect combination of God and man come as prophet, priest and king rolled up in One! As Messiah He could conquer sin for us on the Cross!

Joy has a name and it is Jesus, Messiah!

Do you know the joy of knowing Jesus your Messiah?

Joy has a third Name and it is Lord! Jesus as Lord is our Sovereign Ruler! He became Lord when He arose from the dead! Jesus wasn't Lord when they put on swaddling cloths but He became Lord when He took off His grave cloths!

Joy has a name and it is Jesus, Lord!

Do you know the joy of having Jesus as your Lord?

The good news is God has given Jesus to be your Savior, your Messiah and your Lord! Great joy comes when you receive the gift of Jesus!

Becoming Savior and Lord

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:11

We sing that beautiful and iconic carol, "Silent Night" and it moves us deeply as it should, because it poetically depicts the greatest story ever told!

No doubt we will sing this carol at our Christmas service this Sunday! I hope so, anyway!

But as much as I love this song, at the risk of being cast out of the temple, I must call a few of the lyrics into question.

I know, take a deep breath, and remember how much you love your pastor. Here's the question, "Was Jesus really Lord at His birth?"

Let me pose it another way, "Did Jesus become Lord when they put on the swaddling cloths OR when He took off the grave cloths?"

Think about that for a second.

"But, PB" you may protest, "The Bible quotes the angel announcing Him as 'the Lord'"!

Yes, he did! But he also announced Jesus as Savior. Was that beautiful little baby boy a Savior as He lay helpless in the straw?

If you answered, "No, not yet" you would be right! 

He was a miracle baby!

He was born sinless because He was conceived of the Holy Spirit! Therefore, He was the only One who would be able to provide the atonement for the sinners of this world.

But He didn't provide that salvation at His birth did He?

Otherwise we would have mangers in our churches and on our steeples and as the charm on our necklaces but we don't do we? No, we have crosses!

The immaculate conception and the virgin birth are essential truths in Christian doctrine that identify and qualify Jesus as the Son of God Who would and could become the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world! But it wasn't His birth that brought salvation it was His death on the cross that conquered sin.

So, Jesus became your Savior and my Savior when He died on the cruel cross to provide the atonement for sins.

To be accurate but far less sentimental the carol would go "Jesus Savior at thy death"!

So, if it is proven that Jesus wasn't Savior at His birth neither was He Lord at His birth. He became Lord at His resurrection!

As I said earlier, Jesus wasn't Lord when they put on his swaddling cloths he became Lord when HE took off His GRAVE cloths!

Was His birth miraculous?


Was His birth glorious?


Was He born to become Savior?


Was He born to become Lord?


But becoming Savior and Lord required more than just a crib! It would also require a cross and a crypt!

And for Him to become YOUR Savior and Lord you will have to have a crib experience (be born again) and a cross experience (die to self) and a crypt experience (receive the fullness of the Spirit)!