The Importance of Angels!
As we approach this Christmas season, I would like us to consider for the next few weeks the importance of angels in the Christmas narrative. Scripture tells us, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who are under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons,” (Gal. 4:4,5 NKJV). We see in this passage that God sent forth His Son Jesus at the appointed time. He then used angels to declare the coming of His Son and the birth of His Son. Remember that it was an angel who revealed to Joseph that he should take Mary to be his wife and it was the angel Gabriel who revealed to Mary that she would be giving birth to the Messiah. We see the very humble beginnings of the Son of God being placed in the cradle at His birth, while at the same time we see the heavens declaring there is something very unique and different about this birth. The outward circumstances conceal this great event from the eyes of a thoughtless and busy world. Many times in life things appear far different than they actually are. As Jesus was laid in the manger the reality doesn’t appear as it actually is, but in the fullness of time, God was moving and working.
We read about the arrival of the angels in Luke’s gospel where we see, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the in the fields keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone round them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, before behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people,” (Luke 2:8-10 NKJV). This is not a glorious scene before us. Giving birth in a stable or cave is not a place to give birth and yet Jesus Christ changes forever whatever He touches. His birth into humanity occurs so that heaven may be open to us. Think with me of the angels who had seen the justice and judgment of God, but they had never seen how great God’s mercy and grace really are. That’s why Paul writes in Ephesians and reminds us, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of his grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus,” (Eph.2:6-7 NKJV). Paul is telling us that in all of eternity's future you and anyone who has come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, will be object lessons for all of eternity of the grace of God. Jesus’ coming is the pivotal event in all of world history, but it is also a pivotal event in each of our individual lives. Yet from God’s perspective, it must have been a day of loving sadness as well.
Remember what we read starting in verse seven, “there was no room for them in the inn”, how His birth strangely foreshadows His life. His earthly life was one long course of sacrifice for others. Many people will be celebrating Christmas this year who have no room for Jesus Christ in their hearts and lives. The manger scene may be on the mantle, but it is not in the heart. Many have no room for Christ in the education of the children, no room for Christ in their dining rooms for blessing the food, or no room for Christ in any area of their life. Is Jesus an invited guest at your meals? Is He an invited guest in your TV room, or has He been pushed to some cold corner of your heart?
While there was no room for Jesus in the inn or in many people’s lives in the first century the scene in heaven was very different as the heavens were breaking forth with joy and celebration. God was demonstrating from the heavenlies that something totally unique was taking place. Next week, Lord willing, in my blog, we’ll consider the first evangelists of the great news of Messiah’s birth. Until that time, I ask you the question, “are you making room for the Lord Jesus Christ to be part of your Christmas celebration this year”? Is your celebration going to be more like that of the angels breaking forth in praise and adoration, or like the innkeeper and those who surrounded that scene but had no time or interest in the Messiah’s birth? This is a searching question for all of us to consider!
Celebrating the reason for the season,
Pastor Rich Sivo