As the announcement of the availability of a vaccine for Covid-19 brought jubilation to the citizens of the world, in this incredible year of 2020 – much more did the proclamation, by the angel of the Lord, heralding the birth of the Saviour of the world, over 2000 years ago!
“Now there were in the same country shepherds, living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day, in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you. You will find a Babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.’” (Luke 2:8-14)
This pandemic year has been quite trying for most citizens with the loss of our freedom of travel, and visiting, as well as economic hardships. Some have even felt the terrible loss of loved ones. The vaccines being approved are a real light in our somewhat dark world. The announcement by the angel concerning God the Son taking on human flesh and visiting our world, truly was “good tidings of great joy”. The spiritual darkness which had covered the earth for 4000 years was about to be rolled away! The way to pardon and peace with God was about to be thrown open to all mankind! Liberty was about to be proclaimed to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind. The mighty truth was about to be announced that God could be just, and yet – for the sake of Christ – justify the ungodly. Salvation was no longer to be seen through types and figures, as recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures – all of which pointed to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. The knowledge of God was no longer to be confined to the Jews, but to be offered to the entire Gentile world!
The “Good News” of a Saviour came to the Jewish Nation at a time of great oppression by the Roman rulers. The Jewish people were seeking freedom to live as an independent nation. The Jews ( or for that matter, any other nation, including us, here in Canada ) did not realize, the greatest deliverance that we all need is deliverance in our spiritual lives. We need to be redeemed from hopelessness, spiritual darkness, and death. The Babe in the manger at Bethlehem, whose birth we celebrate each Christmas Day, was to be called Jesus, which means Saviour!! “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary, your wife. For He, which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)
True freedom is: to be forgiven by God, given a clear conscience, brought to be at peace with God, and granted eternal life! “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord . . . . I am the Way, the Truth and the Life . . . . And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” (Romans 6:23 – John 14:6 – John 8:32)
THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM – FREEDOM IN CHRIST FOREVER!