Something most profound, utterly amazing and beyond imagination has occurred. Not many witnessed it, only a few shepherds in the fields watching over their sheep during the night; but the event would change the world and man’s relationship to God forever. (Click images to enlarge)
The announcement to the shepherds by an angel was clear, “Today in the City of David there has been born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Confirming the announcement, the heavens lit up with a multitude of angels praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
How significant, beautiful, symbolic, and illustrative it is that the announced arrival of a Savior was made to just a handful of shepherds at night; to a handful, because as the Scripture says, not many will believe or place their trust in Him; “The road is broad that leads to destruction and many are they that enter through it, but the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Continuing the same thought…the Light came to the shepherds at night, illuminating the darkness, “The Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
Who is this bright Light?
From the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it; and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
And His name is Jesus. More than 200 names and titles are attributed to Him, here are a few: Savior, Redeemer, Light of the World, the Good Shepherd, Son of God, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Bread of Life, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Holy One of God, High Priest, Lamb of God, the Resurrection and the Life, etc. etc.
Jesus Himself claimed to be God; His earthly ministry, death, burial, and resurrection back up His claim. “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.
Why did Jesus come? Why do we need a Savior?
The Lord God commanded the man whom He had created saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” The first humans, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God by disobeying His command. Adam, as representative of the human race, broke God’s one command, and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; as a result, we all die, every last one of us. We not only die physically, but we also die spiritually and emotionally. There is no escape. Now our condition is desperate.
Being dead and alienated from God because of disobedience, we are unable to change our condition unless God intervenes. Because of His mercy and grace, God sent His Son as a holy, spotless, and acceptable sacrifice, to stand in our place, taking the just punishment for our sins upon Himself. “Although Jesus existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason, God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
How can we be sure Jesus is who He says He is?
Woven throughout the Old Testament Scriptures are prophecies that speak of the Christ who was to come. Bible scholars have concluded from much research that hundreds of years before Jesus was even born, more than 300 prophecies were recorded telling of His coming…where He would be born and to whom, His earthly ministry and journey to the cross, His suffering, and His resurrection. I once read somewhere that the chance of all these prophecies being fulfilled, which they were, is incalculable.
When Jesus told the Jewish leaders that He and the Father are one, the leaders accused Him of blasphemy and wanted to stone Him to death. Jesus responded, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” He went on to say, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father”
The third reason we can be assured Jesus is who He claims to be is through the miracles He performed. He healed the sick, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the lepers, and the demonically possessed; He even raised people from the dead, controlled the weather, and foretold His own resurrection from the dead, witnessed by many.
How is our relationship with God reestablished?
We must believe in the One whom God has sent…cleave to, trust in, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger. “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
A bright Light has come to earth, He is the only Savior, our only hope. Jesus himself said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” He is the Light shining in the darkness. Trust in Him, you will not be disappointed.