The text of Luke 2 will be read this coming weekend in thousands of churches around the world. This portion of Scripture is one of my dearest. Growing up it was read at each Christmas Eve before dinner, before presents, before church. Our family gathered to remember why we were together that night. It was to celebrate the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus. It was the beginning of the New Covenant, the Hope from Heaven had come down.
It was also the end. The end of the enemy’s tyranny over mankind. We now had the offer of salvation. Isaiah 9:2, The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. There was now an answer for sorrow, for regret. We could know that the wrongs would be righted, the tears would be replaced with Joy. All of this was possible through the birth of Jesus. The baby born in obscurity, miles from any throne room, born as the King, not into the role, but holding the position of King as He was born.
Jesus was described by Simeon (Luke 2:30-32) as the Lord’s “salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Jesus’ birth was the beginning of hope for all humanity. “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord,” (Luke 2:10-12 a).
It was through this little babe that death would lose the grip it held (1 Corinthians 15:53-55, Isaiah 25:8, Hosea 13:14). As the old hymn, This Little Babe So Few Days Old by Robert Southwell (c. 1561- c. 1595) states:
This little Babe so few days old
Is come to rifle Satan’s fold;
All hell doth at His presence quake,
Though He Himself for cold doth shake;
For in this weak unarmed wise
The gates of hell He will surprise.
A friend recently posted a perfect image of this beginning and end. I do not know the creator of the image, but study it and rejoice in this truth that our joy comes from the birth of Jesus and the death of sorrow.