2013-12-19 / Worship

The greatest promise of God is fulfilled

(Luke 2: 1-20)

After Adam and Eve fell under the spell of Satan in the Garden of Eden, God made a pledge to mankind: He promised to provide a way of salvation from the bondage of sin. Over two thousand years ago He fulfilled that commitment in the form of his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

On the night of Jesus’ birth, God sent his angels to make the announcement to a handful of shepherds working in a field near Bethlehem.

Why did God choose those humble men as the first recipients of the news? We really don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say. But if we think for a moment about the shepherds of that era, we remember that one of their main duties was to furnish perfect, unblemished lambs to be sacrificed in the Temple as atonement for sin.

The time finally had come for God to offer his ultimate, perfect Lamb Sacrifice for the sin of all mankind. He must have wanted the shepherds to be the first to know that their work was finished.

The words of the angels are familiar and beautiful, “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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” (verses 15-17). The shepherds spread the good news and gave God the glory: “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God” (verse 20).

Every Christmas we celebrate God’s fulfillment of his promise to send Jesus to our world bringing salvation for all mankind. We must never fail to do our part and, like the shepherds, spread the good news: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

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