Supernatural (Week 4)

Supernatural: When Heaven Came Down to Earth!

[This Advent Series focuses on the Angels Perspective of the Christmas Story]

Message #3: “Angels: Proclaimers of Peace!” (Luke 2:1-20)

(Luke 2:1-20)

 

This is the 3rd message in our Christmas series of messages on angels, called Supernatural. Throughout this series and even just in our Christmas Bible reading today, have you noticed how much the angels are directly involved in the Christmas story? The angels have delivered key messages of hope to the main players in the Christmas story. The angels’ involvement is not secondary to the Christmas story, it is God ordained. Therefore, we should understand what God has designed and willed as essential to the greatest miracle in history—Christmas!

 

The heart of Christmas is supernatural! It is the miracle of the incarnation—God who is Spirit and exists outside of creation took on flesh and came amongst us into creation. The Christmas miracle of Immanuel—God is with us! God had walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but because of their sin He justly removed them from His presence (the Fall). God made a way for humanity to be in His presence once again. At the heart of the Big Story of the Bible, Christmas is God’s rescue mission to humanity and the angels are God’s heavenly host, participating fully in Heaven invading Earth to bring God’s peace through His Son Jesus Christ.

 

Angels are called the “heavenly host” (Luke 2:13). The word “host” means “‘a well-trained army’—one that is prepared for war. God’s angels are organized and ready to respond to His every desire and command” (David Jeremiah, 2015, 46). Angels are not a little bling in the Christmas story to make it more marketable to a pop-culture consumer. Angels are not like the lights on the tree to make it more festive. Before angels were key characters in your favorite Hallmark movie, angels were important messengers and ministers to the cast of characters in the actual historical event that is the Christmas story we remember and celebrate every year.

 

The Loyal Host of Heaven have been watching the Big Story of the Bible unfold from the beginning (Job 38:6-7 points to them being there at Genesis 1) and the angels will continue to watch the greatest story ever told unfold before them until its completion (Revelation 21:12 points to them being there in the New Heaven and New Earth). They have front row seats in the very presence of God in Heaven, but they heard something that first Christmas that not a single one of them could have known or even dared to imagine. What did they hear? The cry of a little newborn baby named Jesus. Jesus who would grow up and fulfill every ancient prophecy of the Messiah. Jesus who would die a sinner’s death on the Cross for humanity. Jesus who would defeat death and Hell itself, forever removing the sting of death. Jesus, God, Eternal… a baby…

 

Let’s read one more time the role of the angels in just this one part of the Christmas story in Luke 2:9-15, “And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’ When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’”

 

The angels make promises to the shepherds that are fulfilled when they went to investigate the supernatural claims of God’s heavenly messengers. The shepherds found baby Jesus just as the angels said He would be found! They worshipped baby Jesus! In fact, their response to their investigation of the supernatural claims about Jesus was this: The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them” (Luke 2:20).

 

Just like with the angels, you too can be forever touched if you seek to explore the supernatural promise of God made to humanity through the angels. The Loyal Host of Heaven proclaimed on that first Christmas, “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

 

The angels may be proclaimers of this peace, but only Jesus Christ can give you this peace! Jesus is the Immanuel—God who is with us! Peace among men can only be found when we first have peace with the God who demonstrated His love for humanity by sending His unique Son that those who believe in Him will have eternal life with God and not taste of the second death, which is an eternal state of being separated from God, the only One by whom we can experience lasting peace (John 3:16). The first Christmas was a rescue mission and that rescue is still happening in our world today!

 

Jesus promises in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”[1]

 

God keeps His promises! This is why Jesus came from Heaven to Earth, to bring peace between humanity and God. The angels knew this and they watched God bring peace to humanity by becoming the Christmas miracle: Immanuel – Jesus is the Christmas miracle to which the angels stand in awe and wonder of God’s great love for humanity.

 

Have you opened your mind and heart to receive the first and greatest Christmas gift ever given?

 

 

Footnotes:

[1] As Chrysostom (4th Century Church Father) said in Demonstration Against the Pagans 2.8–10, “Why did Christ speak in this way [referencing John 14:27]? Because the peace which comes from a human being is easily destroyed and subject to many changes. But Christ’s peace is strong, unshaken, firm, fixed, steadfast, immune to death and unending” (Thomas C. Oden and Cindy Crosby, eds., Ancient Christian Devotional: A Year of Weekly Readings: Lectionary Cycle A [Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2007], 33).
 

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