|"Na ka mea te anahera ki a ia, Kei wehi koe, e Meri; kua paingia hoki koe e te Atua".|
"But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God".
— Luke 1:28
How good is the first Christmas?
In Luke 1:26-38 a celestial being, sent from God's presence, speaks to a teenager betrothed to a descendant of King David.
The promises are startling:
You will conceive.
You will give birth to a Son.
He will be great.
He will be given the throne of David.
His kingdom will never end.
The practical realities are mind-boggling:
“The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most-High will overshadow you".
The goodness of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit active in the first Christmas is stunning. But as stunningly good as the first Christmas is, this Christmas in 2022 is even better.
This Christmas is better than that Christmas?! Why?
God sending the angel Gabriel to Nazareth is incredible, but the fact that God sends his son Jesus to die in our place is better.
Gabriel’s words about Jesus are brilliant, but as the author of Hebrews reminds us in Hebrews 1:2, God’s full and final word of his son Jesus revealed to us in his death and resurrection is a better and fuller fulfilment.
A single teenager living in a middle eastern backwater finding favour with the triune God of the universe is staggering. But this Christmas is better than that Christmas for us because we now know Jesus sits on the throne of David, through his crown of thorns. He is the king of the kingdom through his death and resurrection. He reigns over Jacob's descendants through his resurrection.
Through this word, this Christmas I can know that God himself—through the death of his son Jesus—comes to me by his Holy Spirit and offers me new life in himself.
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This Christmas is better than that Christmas
November 18, 2022