The greatest news ever told
As I was reading some national news the other day, I noticed a subheading for some content that I had not seen before, it was called "Good News."
It told of a person rescuing a dog from one of the tragic fires in California and of a person who had won the lottery. Now, in comparison to the rest of the news of that day, which was rather unfortunate, it was "good."
However, I want to tell you the greatest news that was ever told.
The greatest news ever told wasn't a segment that first appeared on a website; it is the news that God became man. You read that correctly; God became man! And this amazing truth was heralded by God's angels:
"In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'" (Luke 2:8-14)
How are we to understand the good news contained in the passage above?
Let's look at three things in the text.
First, a Savior was born. This implies that we need a Savior, One who will redeem us. This Savior is Christ the Lord. The word "Christ" tells us that Jesus is a King, and the word "Lord" indicates that Jesus is God. He is "One who exercises supernatural authority over all mankind." (Louw and Nida)
Second, we notice from the text that the Savior was born for a people. He was born "for you," writes Luke. And we notice that the good news was for "all the people." It's true, Jesus came to "save His people from their sins." (Matt 1:21) And He came for more people than his fellow countrymen who first heard this message. Jesus was born for you and for me. He was born to save all of His people from every nation around the world from their sins.
Third, God became man to bring peace. "The point is … that through the birth of the Messiah God extends his favour to people who have done nothing to deserve it; and he graciously grants them peace. Peace expresses the nature of salvation as the restoration of good relations between God and sinful people." (New Bible Commentary)
As you look forward to celebrating Christmas, may your heart be overflowing with faith and devotion toward God who became man. The Savior, King, and God became like us for us. He became man in order to provide salvation through his death.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him." (Romans 5:8-9)
The news keeps getting better, doesn't it? Not only did God become man, but all who put their trust in Jesus are saved from God's future wrath (judgment) by His blood, not by their works. What a gift!
And let's remember this, the Son who was born long ago was the Son who was born to die and rise again. And by his death and resurrection, He has saved and is saving His people. This is the greatest news!
Chris Cookston is the pastor at Prineville Community Church. He can be reached at 541-447-6315.