Picture this: You are sitting out on a hillside at night watching over your flock of sheep. Millions of stars illuminate the cloudless night. It is so still out in the countryside that the slightest sound can be heard for miles. It’s cold so you and your do-workers are sitting near the fire talking about this and that. It’s a perfect ending to a good day.
Suddenly, the night sky is lit up by and unearthly light. You jump to your feet and look up. A shining figure in the sky is looking back at you. In that moment you would have to know that something significant was about to happen.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10 – 11 ESV
You Have to Wonder…
One cannot help but wonder how the shepherds felt that night when the angel brought them this amazing news. This announcement meant the One they had been waiting for had finally arrived. The long days of waiting in expectation had finally come to an end. The implications of His arrival were revealed in the titles ascribed to Him by the angel.
He was the Saviour. The shepherds may have thought this Saviour would deliver them from foreign occupation. However, the angel Gabriel revealed to Joseph that this One would actually save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). This was why He was to be named Yeshua, Yaweh saves.
The Anointed One
He was the Christ, the Anointed One. This was who Isaiah spoke of as the One upon whom the Lord would place His Spirit and bring justice to the nations (Isaiah 42:1). This was the One anointed by the Spirit to bring good news to the poor, the One sent to bind up the broken-hearted and proclaim liberty to the captives, the One who would proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Isaiah 61:1 – 2). No wonder the angel said this would be good news for all the people!
God with Us
But this One was also the Lord. I wonder if the shepherds grasped the full meaning of this. This was not your ordinary baby. God Himself had taken on human form. This is why Matthew would later tell his readers that this Child was God with us (Matthew 1:22 – 23). Wow!
The End of Their World
This was a truly stunning announcement. It literally meant the end of the world as they had known it. Their God was doing a new thing, and they were the first to hear about it. The King had come. Now the world was going to really find out what it was like to live in the Reign.