What the Angel Said
Excerpt from "He Sent His Son: Eyewitness Accounts"
Every Christmas we hear “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing O'er the plain.” But according to Dr. Ed Leake and the author's self-study, angels do not sing. We have feminized these powerful warrior beings to the point that we no longer understand their mission and their importance.
Angels are powerful spiritual beings created by God to be His messengers to and protectors of God’s last creation, man. The Angels are not restricted to the physical world that we know. They can transcend time and space in their service to God. They are mighty and always referred to in the masculine form in the Bible. Not at all like the graphic above but more like a warrior. God also uses angels to communicate the fulfillment of special events to man.
In the gospel according to Luke, God sent the Angel Gabriel with some special news for all humanity. What the angel said on these three occasions is very important to us, even in the twenty-first century.
The first message delivered by Gabriel was given to a Jewish priest as he prayed and offered incense in the Temple. Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth were childless and well up in years. They were praying for a son when Gabriel appeared and said: “Fear not, thy prayer is heard.”
Luke 1:11-13 “And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard: and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name, John.”
What a beautiful thing for us to know. God hears our prayers. The almighty God who created the universe and all that is in it cares enough about us to hear our prayers and answer them.
Psalms 144:3 “LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!”
He hears us when we call; He hears us when we cry; He hears us when we praise Him too. He even answers us when we don’t believe, as He did Zacharias. God took his speech away until John was born because he did not believe the message from the angel. Even though he doubted, God answered his prayer.
Six months later Gabriel was sent to a young woman in the city of Nazareth with another message from God. This woman was engaged to a man named Joseph and was in the purification period proving her virginity when the angel appeared. She may have been praying for God to send the Messiah, not knowing that God would choose her for that particular purpose.
Luke 1:26-28 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
God tells us, that we are highly favored also. In Jeremiah 1:5 God says. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.” God even knows and cares about us before we are born. We are all highly favored. In this verse, God declares His love for us. He wants only the best for each of His children. We are, highly preferred.
God demonstrated His love for man when He, nine months later, sent the angel to a small group of shepherds. As they sat at camp one evening, the glory of the Lord lit up the sky and the Angel of the Lord, (probably Gabriel), appeared to a band of shepherds. They were the ones looking for the coming Messiah. Not the Pharisee’s, Scribes, Priests or Rulers. Just a few of God’s faithful believers.
Luke 2: 9-10 “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
God wants to bring each of us good tidings and great joy. What better message than for God to declare that He had provided a way for us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. God knows what we need and has promised to supply all our need. The greatest need of man is a Saviour. We are alienated from God because of our sin, and without a Saviour, we have no hope for going to Heaven. But that is not all the angel said. Here was one more statement in each of these three messages.
God does not want us to fear. Not Him. Not our situation. Not the evil of this world. Not our future on earth or after death.
Luke 2:11-14 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And 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, good will toward men.”
God sent His son to be born of a virgin and become a man, live a spotless, sinless life so that He might die for our sins on the cross of Calvary thirty-three years later. Jesus fulfilled the requirement of Holy God so that we may have eternal life. We can “fear not” because of what Jesus did on Calvary.
No one can meet the righteous requirements to be acceptable to a Holy God. We must be holy, perfect and sinless, but none of us are. That’s why we need a Saviour.
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:”
We all deserve God’s wrath for our disobedience to His commandments.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Death, as used here, means eternal separation from God. Spiritual death, in a real hell. We earned it through our sinning.
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
That first Christmas day God sent His son, Jesus, to earth as the Saviour, the greatest gift that God could give to man. We are condemned, already. Through Jesus, we can be saved from God’s wrath and receive His tidings of great joy. And have no fear of the wrath to come. Jesus came to save those who would believe. He came to bring forgiveness for all our sins, past, present and future. He still saves today. Just believe that Jesus died in your place and you too can have eternal life. Just ask Him to save you.
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Merry Christmas to you your family and church.
Jim and Carol Zeigler
When life gets you down, Look Up,