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God had been silent for 400 years. His people waited, longing for hope, believing the Messiah would come. They yearned for a rescuer, a deliverer. They wanted to be free from the tyranny of the Romans, yet God had a greater freedom to offer.

He was faithful to keep his promise. Christ was born. Yet in every way, his coming was unexpected. He didn’t arrive the way they anticipated the Messiah would. Not only that, but he didn’t arrive the way any of us would think God would. What God did was startlingly different.

His Humble Entrance

God, the Son, incarnated. He cloaked his deity with humanity, entering the world he created. He didn’t simply descend; he took on flesh. He entrusted himself to a godly, engaged couple. They would have been teenagers. They were working-poor. They were righteous and yet would have been ridiculed. Everyone could do the math. Everyone knew when Jesus was born and when Mary and Joseph were married. Though they were God-honoring, everyone would have assumed they had rebelled against him.

God the Son confined himself to Mary’s womb. The Creator, who spoke all things into existence was formed by his Father. The One who told the mountains where they could rise, who drew the boundaries for the seas and who crafted the animals for the earth was formed in a woman’s womb.

He was born in a stable in a barn and placed in a manger. I worked on farms growing up. Farms are filled with animals along with the smells and sounds that accompany them. His beginnings were simple and modest. There was no palace for this King.

He was helpless. He couldn’t feed or change himself. The One who sustained the entire universe by his might and will, was now dependent. Until Mary and Joseph taught him his first steps, they carried him everywhere. They trained him to speak. This is how God entered in.

The One we need has Arrived

The angel declared his birth to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2).

There is good news of great joy. It is the best news possible. A Saviour, who is the Messiah, who is the Lord, has been born. But why? Why like this?

A Saviour has been born

When God created us, he granted the first two human beings, Adam and Eve, freedom and choice. They had the capability either to choose what God required or could rebel against him. They chose to rebel. As our representatives, their rebellion spiraled us all into a sinful state of depravity.

Depravity isn’t that we are in every way as bad as we can be, but rather that we are not in any one way as good as we should be.

The standard for goodness is God and not our phone’s daily newsfeed, where we compare ourselves to the heinous criminals of the day. Our sin procures the wrath of a holy and perfect God.

As Romans 6:23 reminds us, the punishment for our rebellion is death. When Adam and Eve sinned, we died spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and physically. Humanity was created to live forever. Now the throes of death are upon us. We were created to live in harmony with God and each other. Our sinful choices shred our relationships to pieces. We were created as spiritual beings. Now we are unable to engage spiritually. We are spiritually dead. Every part of us desperately needs saving. We need a Saviour.

Depravity isn’t that we are in every way as bad as we can be, but rather that we are not in any one way as good as we should be.

Humanity sinned and so humanity deserved to die. One representative spiraled us into this mess, and we needed another to pull us out. Yet no human being could pull us out. To do so, one would need to defeat sin, Satan and death. To do so, one would need to endure the wrath of the Father. So God the Son came down to save us. He took on flesh.

The Saviour is Perfectly Human

God promised a deliverer, a messiah. At the fall of humanity, God cursed the serpent stating that the offspring of Eve “will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3). The prophet Isaiah declares, “The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7).

Isaiah 9 states that this son “will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah prophesies that God’s zeal will accomplish this. Nothing can stop the passion and fervour of God. God’s purposes are unstoppable.

Both Matthew and Luke trace the genealogy of Jesus to demonstrate the Messiah’s human ancestry. Jesus is perfectly human. He never sins. He fulfills the law because every Messianic promise is fulfilled in him, and because he perfectly obeys the law. He endures the wrath of the Father on the cross. He is God, the Son.

The Saviour is the Lord

God came down. Because he is the Lord, he can be the Messiah. Because he is the Lord, he can be the Savour. He will accomplish the work of salvation because God himself has come to do so. Nothing can stop him.

In 2019, a group of men were ice fishing over Lake Erie. A large chunk of ice broke free from the shore and 46 of them floated up to two miles into the lake. The coast guard was called. There was nothing they could do to save themselves. Someone had to rescue them.

We can’t save ourselves. We can’t defeat sin, Satan or death. Sin could not accuse Jesus, Satan could not defeat Jesus and death could not destroy Jesus. Three days after his crucifixion, the Father raised the Son to life again. He delights in saving a people for himself.

The Declaration

When God came down, Gabriel announced that this child’s kingdom will never end. When God came down, Joseph learned that this child would save people from sin. When God came down, the angels declared to shepherds that there is good news of great joy. When God came down, the heavenly chorus cried out that God would favour some with peace.

When God came down, Simeon marveled at the salvation of the nations. When God came down, Anna thanked God for his redemption. When God came down, the Magi traveled to worship him. When God came down, he came humbly, with meager means, helpless and dependent, yet nothing could stop him.

The Saviour has come; we can turn to him for our rescue. The Messiah has come; God’s promises are fulfilled. The Lord has come; he will accomplish what he has set out to do. He will seek and save the lost. This is good news of great joy! Merry Christmas!