Good news! A Savior is born!
Author: Helen Man
Translator: Kim Ng
On July 20, 1969, an estimated 600 million people watched in suspense as the astronaut Neil Armstrong descended a ladder from the spaceship Apollo 11 towards the surface of the Moon. Armstrong made history and became the first human to land on the moon. As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” At that time, U.S. President Richard Nixon described the moon landing as the greatest event since Creation. The great preacher Billy Graham quickly corrected him by saying that Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection were three greater moments, in which Christ’s birth was indeed one of the greatest moments in our history. God gave his only son, Jesus Christ, to be born into the world as our savior through his death and resurrection. As we know, B.C. represents the years before Jesus’ birth, and the years after his birth are labeled A.D. The birth of Jesus has made a significant impact on our history. For example, the year 2022 marks that Christ was born 2022 years ago.
The birth of Jesus Christ has been prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible, which was written hundred years before the time of Jesus.
In the beginning, when the first humans, Adam and Eve sinned and rebelled against God in the garden of Eden; God said to the serpent who tempted humans: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) The offspring of the woman is Jesus, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. In the beginning, God has already revealed that Jesus will come into the world and bring us salvation.
700 years before Jesus was born, God had told us through Prophet Isaiah that “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (which means God is with us)… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (Isaiah 7:14; 9: 6-7)
In the book of Micah, God spoke through prophet Micah: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.” (Micah 5:2-3)
There are numerous other verses in the Old Testament that have spoken about the birth of Jesus with great detail, hundred years before he was born.
Fulfillment of Prophecies
The prophecies in the Old Testament have been fulfilled as the history unfolded. God is faithful. The New Testament, which was written after Jesus was born, recorded details about Jesus’ birth, what he has done and how he delivers salvation to us. In the book of Luke, it is recorded that: “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1: 29-33) Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a humble manger in God’s time as was prophesied. Jesus, the only son of God clothed in flesh just like us, grew from infantry to adulthood, enduring hunger, pain and sorrow. He was tempted by Satan in every way just like us; being different from us, Jesus resisted temptations and did not sin. Jesus bore our sin as he willingly suffered crucifixion and died for us. Jesus saved us as he gave us his life and then resurrected three days after death. God is faithful and merciful. The Bible says: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Whoever believes in Jesus will be forgiven and receive eternal life.
Our Need for Salvation
You may wonder why you still need salvation since you are a good person. The Bible says: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:29)”
Sin has entered the world and us since our ancestors have sinned and rebelled against God. To be honest, we all have wicked thoughts such as greed and jealousy in us. In the light of God’s holiness, that is sin. In the light of God’s righteousness, sinfulness cannot be treated as sinlessness. “The wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23) “… people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) However, Jesus Christ is our savior and “… all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:23)
We must know that Jesus Christ is the only way. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) There are many religious leaders or idols in this world who are claimed to be able to save mankind. We know that none of them has conquered death. How can they save others if they cannot save themselves? No one besides Jesus has victory over death. Jesus died on the cross for us and resurrected three days after death. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
As an angel proclaimed at the night when Jesus was born: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) The good news that Jesus is our savior, is for everyone; regardless of class, color, nationality, or wealth. God loves all of us. His mercy is onto all of us. “To all who did receive him [Jesus Christ], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
As we believe in Jesus, we receive eternal life and become children of our Heavenly Father. As we trust and obey God, we are made new and can bring about a revival of our society. We move away from sins and reconcile with others. In the holiness and righteousness of God, we learn to love and respect each other.
Christmas comes every year but there’s no guarantee for us to be around every Christmas. We don’t even know what might happen tomorrow. I wish you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior today.