Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord (NIV).
Jesus is the Messiah, or what most Christians are used to saying, the Christ. Both Messiah and Christ mean “the Anointed One”. Jesus is the Chosen One of God (Luke 23:35). He is the One sent to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
He is also the Lord.
Much of Christmas thinking is wrapped around the idea that Jesus was born as a very human baby, wrapped in strips of cloth, and laid in a manger by his virgin mother Mary. All that is correct certainly, but it is insufficient, if that is as far as one’ thoughts go. We read our granddaughter the children’s book The Bible in Picture for Little Eyes (the old edition with realistic pictures), and it talks much about how Jesus came as a baby. It also stresses that Jesus is God’s Son. That is good.
It is also good to know that he is the Savior. God the Father sent his one and only Son to save or rescue us from the guilt, pollution, and penalty that we fully deserve. We lived in rebellion against God and were liable for eternal punishment. But thanks be to God, in his amazing mercy he provided an Almighty Deliverer for us.
All that Jesus is able to do for us is possible because he is the Lord. He is the great I Am, the Creator and Controller of all things, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. This is what we have trouble thinking through with our small brains. The Chosen Savior, God’s Prophet, Priest, and King; yes, we know that. But to comprehend that the little baby in the manger, the firstborn son of a young Jewish woman is also the Firstborn over everything (Colossians 1:15), that makes us pause and wonder.
The Lord blessed my wife and I with three children. How I remember holding each of the three infants on my forearm with their heads safely cradled in the palm of my hand. They were so tiny, yet very real people! Now think of Joseph holding Mary’s newborn son in the same way. Yes, that is easy to imagine. But that newly arrived infant is also the Lord. Listen to what the prophet Isaiah said of the Lord. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12 ESV) The Lord is so immense that he has measured the universe with the span of his hand! Yet he was at the same time a very small baby! The fragile human frame that Joseph supported with his forearm and hand at the same exact moment was holding the universe together. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of his nature, sustaining all things by his powerful word (Hebrews 1:3a CSB; cf. Colossians 1:17).
Jesus, Messiah and Savior, is also the Lord of glory! Meditate on this awe-inspiring reality as you walk through the tattered remnants of the year 2020. Focus on him as you long for hope for your future. Jesus Messiah is the Lord of all!
By the way, he is also the Lord of your life.
Grace and peace,