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Christmas I: Forever Merry - Isaiah 52:7, Hebrews 1:8-9

Merry Christmas! When we herald and celebrate the birth of our Savior we are bringing good news of happiness to the world (Isaiah 52:7). Christ’s nativity causes Christians everywhere to sing for joy: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous songs and sing praises!” (Psalm 98:4). God anointed Jesus with the oil of gladness (Heb. 1:8-9). Happiness, good cheer, laughter, and singing: this is how God’s people remember the birth of the Son of God. And so in order to make you merry, here are twelve truths from our Scripture readings, one for each day of Christmas.

First, look at Isaiah 52:7: how beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news. Not bad news, not information; good news! Christian, why are you so merry at Christmastime? Because Christmas brings good news. Second, later on in that same verse: Christmas publishes peace. At Christ’s birth, the angels herald peace on earth and goodwill to men. Rejoice and be merry, because God has published a peace treaty with the world by sending Jesus. Third, still in verse 7: salvation. The good news of Christmas is that God saves, which is why the angel told Joseph to name his adopted son Jesus, which means Jehovah saves. No matter what you are going through, no matter what happens to you, Jesus saves you, so be merry! Fourth, Christmas declares “Your God reigns.” (v.7) God rules. God is in charge. Not sin, not sickness, not suffering, not death. God’s heavenly reign has come to earth through the birth of King Jesus. So Merry Christmas! Fifth, look to verse 9: the waste places break forth into singing because God comforts His people. Maybe your life is one of those waste places. If so, rejoice, because Christmas is God coming down to comfort you. Sixth, redemption. God redeems His people through this babe in a manger. Jesus buys back God’s people from their slavery to sin and Satan with His own blood. And how did the eternal Son of God who is Spirit and doesn’t have a body like men get blood? He got it by being conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary. On Christmas night, your Redeemer was born Seventh, revelation. Isaiah 52:10: “the Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see.” Psalm 98:2 – “the Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.” When God took on flesh, that salvation became visible, and so we rejoice! The eighth gift God gave at Christmas was that He remembered His steadfast love and faithfulness. That’s Psalm 98:3 – God remembered us, and so we sing and shout and make merry. You have not been overlooked or forgotten. So go round up the ends of the earth, the rivers, the sea, the hills; gather them all together and sing for joy! On the ninth day of Christmas, rejoice along with Psalm 98:9: Christmas brings righteous judgment to the world. Through Jesus’ righteous judgment, Satan is dethroned and the reign of righteousness begins. Isn’t it comforting to know that injustice will be overturned? Doesn’t it make you glad to know that the wicked will not get away with anything? Righteousness came at Christmas, so rejoice! Tenth, incarnation. Christmas is when God entered the world in human flesh, which prompts even mighty angels to worship (Heb. 1:6). Adam had gotten us kicked out of God’s presence, but at Christmas, God came down to be with us again in Jesus. How merry we should be merry about that! Eleventh: Christmas is the first step towards Christ’s enthronement. The last time a man was on the throne of the world was in the garden of Eden, and he didn’t last very long. Now, a man is back on the throne, and this one loves righteousness and hates wickedness. According to Hebrews 1:8-9, that’s why God anoints Jesus with the oil of gladness. Jesus was born into the world so the world could have a righteous man on the throne, and that makes us glad! Twelfth and finally, we should be merry because none of these things will ever change. Heaven and earth will wear out, but all of these reasons for being merry will remain true, because “your throne, O God, is forever and ever” (Heb. 1:8). Christmas means eternal joy to the world, because Jesus’ years will have no end (Heb. 1:12). Everyone who believes in Jesus will have every reason to be merry forever. Christmas brings good news of everlasting happiness and overflows with the oil of eternal gladness. So rejoice and sing, feast and shout, and have a Merry Christmas.
Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 by CJ Bowen