“Joy to the World” is not just a familiar Christmas carol, but a much needed message for our world grounded in God’s Word.
God broke on the historical scene with a miracle and a message of hope at a time of ruthless Roman domination in Israel. The angel declared, “I bring you good news of a great joy… for all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
What was that good news? “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11) Israel’s promised Messiah had arrived to deliver them and “all the people.” But from what?
Matthew said, “it is He (Jesus) who will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Why from sin?
Our passive indifference towards or active rebellion against God (sin) separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:2) and sentences us to His eternal punishment (Romans 6:23). Human beings are diagnosed with terminal depravity that needs to be eliminated. If I suffer from a headache caused by a sinus infection, I need an antibiotic to kill the disease—not just Tylenol to treat the symptom.
The good news is that God’s Son came to earth and was placed in a cradle so He would one day die on the cross. In death, Christ satisfied God’s wrath against sin, freeing all who believe in Him from its control and consequences (Romans 3:22-25).
For all who believe in Jesus, the penalty for our sin has been paid through His blood, and His righteousness has been credited to our account (2 Corinthians 5:21). This “good news of great joy” is not just “the power of God unto salvation” for the Jewish people, but, “for all who believe, the Jew first and also the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
Countries are in conflict, crime is on the rise, prices are skyrocketing, returns on investment are plummeting, and corruption is rewarded. The greatest joy comes not from reversing these trends, but from knowing that we who deserve God’s penalty are declared just and forgiven before God for eternity through faith in Christ.
Spending time with our adult children and our grandchildren brings my wife and me great joy. But the greatest and most lasting joy for anyone is knowing, “my sin, not in part, but the whole, has been nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul.”
“Joy to the World” is offered because “the Lord has come” and is experienced by all who by faith “receive her king.”
Receive Christ by faith as your Savior and King.