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ON “THE MYSTERY OF JESUS FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION”—Why Did The Angels Announce “Good Tidings Of Great Joy”?

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The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is the opening stanza of the New Testament salvation song. During this time of year especially, we sing Christmas carols with great joy as we anticipate the celebration of our Lord Jesus’ birth. Charles Wesley wrote one of our favorite Christmas hymns and called it, “Hark! The Herald!” The lyrics of the song echo what is said in Luke 2:10, “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” What are the good tidings of great joy? Let’s look at the events of that night so long ago. The shepherds were surrounded by bleating, smelly sheep and the dust that arose when they and their herds moved about. They had no idea what was about to happen — the pronouncement of the ages! The Bible tells us God sent an angel and he appeared before them, “and the glory of the Lord shone round them, and they were greatly afraid” (Luke 2:9). Not only did the angel reflect the Lord’s glorious light, but it was so extensive it surrounded the shepherds, too. The angel had to tell them not to be afraid, so great was the glory of the Lord that surrounded them (see also Exodus 34:29-30). The angel proclaimed his tidings of great joy and then said, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Once the angel gave the shepherds the directions to find the baby, “suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:13-14). Surely the shepherds were… (READ MORE)

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