Heaven’s Light Invading Our World’s Darkness
At this holiday season of the year, many people are asking, “What is there to be so merry about anyway?” With the threat of nuclear war, terrorism, crime, abusive injustice, violence against women, celebrity and leadership scandal take-downs, political instability, racism, hatred of police, national discord—all of these at an all-time high, marriages breaking up, online suicides, a sense of continued ragged emotional & spiritual fragmentation, drug & alcohol abuse —no wonder many people question whether we should say, “Merry Christmas!”
Yet it was at such a time that our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world some 2,000 years ago. And it will be at such a time that Jesus Christ comes back to this earth.
The angel on that first Christmas night said, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). If we believe this, then it makes all the difference in the world for us. Life takes on a new dimension.
There is one particular passage of Scripture in the Old Testament to which I often turn, not only at this time of the year but also at many times other than the Christmas season: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a Light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
When these words were uttered by the Prophet Isaiah, prophetic thunders were heard and the lightning of divine vengeance was seen as the clouds of judgment were gathering. With a trumpet-like voice this great statesman-prophet had declared with certainty the calamity which was soon to fall upon Judah as a judgment from God. Judah’s alliance with evil and her departure from God called forth predictions of dreadful disaster. Isaiah had proclaimed with accuracy the Assyrian invasion. All around him were clouds of wrath and desolating darkness.
But Isaiah saw far away at the horizon a rift in the clouds and a clear light shining from heaven. He saw that while the people were walking in darkness, a light also shined upon them. He looked through the next 800 years of time and then he declared, “Unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).
“Unto us a Child is born” (Isaiah 9:6). He was not born according to the laws and the processes of natural generations. The nature of His birth was supernatural. The “Child born” was born to a virgin: “The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
But “Unto us a Son is given” (Isaiah 9:6). Because He is the God-man, He was able to bear our sins on the cross. And God raised Him from the dead as an indication that He had accepted Christ’s atoning work on the cross. He was the only One in the entire universe qualified to bear our sins, and He did it voluntarily.
Therefore, at this Christmas season, with our trust and faith in Christ, we hear the angel saying, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:10). The psalmist said, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6).
This is the Christmas message to you and I today. You, too, can appropriate the words to believers, words that are used all the way through the Scriptures: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43:5). “Peace on earth, good will to man” is promised by God and spoken first by the Christmas angels that very night His Son Jesus Christ was born! But, where is all that “promised peace” today?
First, it begins in our hearts, secondly, it will be completed when He returns and that could be soon! Until then, friends you and I are called to work for peace, to be “peacemakers” at our workplace, in our communities, in our families, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” said the Prince of Peace our Lord Jesus Christ.
A Child was born and a Son was given for our salvation. We have complete assurance that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of Man but also that He is the Son of God. And God has accepted what Jesus did on the cross and in the resurrection for our salvation. We trust in Him–and Him alone–for our forgiveness and for eternal life. Trust Him with your all this Christmas and resolve to live for Him with all your heart throughout the coming New Year. Christmas means that God has “stepped into our very human shoes” taking on broken, sinful humanity personally Himself. He knows all about our ongoing struggles, our present challenges, our deep pains, our inward scars from the past, our unfulfilled hopes, our wistful dreams, our nagging fears and everything there ever is to know about our past, present and future—He knows us better than we know ourselves and He loves us dearly. Now would be a good time to turn to Him in prayer and give Him the heavy burdens you are carrying around that He came to bear for you. Jesus is the “the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). We are the people who have “walked in darkness, but seen a Great Light.” (Isaiah 9:2)
A Blessed Christmas to You All!