The heavenly messenger presents one of the most significant statements in all of scripture in this three part title of Jesus.
This is the fifteenth post of the series The Musical That Changed the World.
As the world remains silent on the night of Jesus’ birth, the Shekinah presence of God descends with a chorus of angels to announce the birth of God’s Son in heavenly proportions. And this divine announcement gives us one of the most significant statements in all of Scripture.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:11-12 ESV
This was the day that many saints in the Old Testament longed to see, just as Simeon did. Scripture tells us that Abraham, Moses, David, and many others looked forward to the coming of the promised Messiah, and now it’s finally happened, and thousands of years of prophecy, promise and expectation is fulfilled. And the first ones to hear it are shepherds.
This newborn child is given a three-part title that is found together nowhere else in Scripture. That title is “Savior, Christ the Lord.” This title gives us a comprehensive understand of who this child is and what his mission will be.
In the Old Testament the one who is identified as Savior the most is God himself. God is the Savior of his people who delivers them from peril, enemies or pestilence. And in the New Covenant promises it’s God who will save his people from their sin.
In the nativity story thus far this concept of savior has been well established. Mary sings of her Savior who will overturn all that men place their trust in. Zechariah sings of the Horn of Salvation, the warrior who saves his people from their enemies and leads them from the captivity of darkness into the light of peace with God.
And now this angelic chorus announces the birth of this Savior, who is clearly identified as baby Jesus.
‘Christ’ is a translation of the Greek work ‘Curios,’ which is a translation of the Hebrew word for ‘Messiah.’ It literally means, “anointed one.” It refers to the promised King who was to come from the line of David who would establish the eternal kingdom. That is what the title “Christ” means.
The term ‘Lord’ occurs more than 6000 times in the Old Testament, and almost all of them refer to God as the divine, authoritative, sovereign ruler. Every time ‘Lord’ is used in the nativity story it refers to God as well, with one exception, and that is when Elizabeth declares that the child Mary carries is her ‘Lord.’
Names given to children in the Hebrew culture were very significant. When a title is given to a child a birth that is incredibly significant, and this three part title given to Jesus accurately and clearly describes who Jesus will be. These are titles given to him from heaven, and we need to be clear these things are not left for us to decide. He is Savior, Christ the Lord whether we think he is or not. We either accept it or reject it.
And these shepherds are given directions on how to find him. There probably were not very many newborns wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger in Bethlehem that night. The angel is telling these shepherds that, even though they have no status or pedigree, they have a personal invitation to go see this anointed child.
Read the previous post Good News of Great Joy.
See the index to the series The Musical That Changed The World.