In despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, 1863
Isaiah 59:1-3 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
Isaiah 59 states that sin has separated man from God. Verse 16 speaks of the search for an intercessor that is found in Jesus Christ the Messiah that came to Save. Chapter 60 begins to show how Jesus would shine as the light in the darkness.
Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
The Story of Christmas is Hope
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was right when he said there is no peace on earth. There is hatred and suffering. There is injustice. Often evil is celebrated and good is mocked. All of these are the result of sin: man’s rebellion against God.
Because of sin, man’s situation was hopelessness. But the message of Christmas is one of hope because Jesus came as a light to shine in the darkness.
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
Three things we learn from the angel’s announcement:
Good Tidings (Good News)
The good news is that Jesus is born. The good news is the Gospel: that Jesus was born, lived a perfect life, died and rose again to redeem sinful man.
Without Jesus there was hopeless separation from God, but Jesus came to earth to restore what sin had destroyed.
The message of the Gospel brings great joy. It gives HOPE.
To All People
The message of the Gospel is to all people. The hope that Christmas celebrates is not for a select few. It is for all people. Jesus came to Save all who would believe (John 3:16).
The Birth of the Savior Gives Hope to a World in Darkness