Brothers and sisters in Christ, I absolutely love Christmas time. I love the traditions of Christmas that make the holiday richer and more joyful. From listening (and singing… dreadfully if I may add) to Christmas carols, drinking eggnog and hot chocolate, and setting up the Christmas tree and Christmas lights around the house. I finished doing my Christmas shopping with my last packages to be arriving at my door by Saturday. The season is certainly one to be jolly, and one that is incredibly busy.
Christmas is a holiday that is unique to all others, and that is because it is the only holiday I can think of that is both beautiful and misleading. Some view Christmas as an excuse to get drunk, to party, and to gather with friends or family. Others see Christmas as merely a celebration of Jesus’ birth, and that is the end of their celebration. There are also the very few ‘Grinches’ that try to stop all of the fun completely. Now, a couple weeks ago, my fellow writer and best friend Ashton Clark, wrote a blog post entitled The True Meaning of Christmas. He was completely right that the gospel should be front and center of the Christmas bulletin. That being said, I want to add to the good news.
I wrote a blog post last year on Christmas Eve called Jesus, Lord At Thy Birth, in which I detailed the whole Christmas story. Christmas can be summarized like this: man was unable to come to God, so God came to man. That is why I, along with the rest of The Reformed Alliance team, love Christmas so much because we love the gospel. However, the gospel does not stop at Christ’s redemption. I am not downplaying the fact that God became man to save us from sin, and I am certainly not trying to discredit the importance of Christ’s work on earth. However, we tend to miss a very clear picture that is drawn in the Bible concerning the Kingship of Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah 9:6 (ESV), the Holy Spirit led the prophet to foreshadow the coming of our beloved savior with these words: “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” It is so easy to just stop here and dwell in how good and great God is. What an amazing Scripture! But it doesn’t end here. Look at what the Spirit is setting up through the pen of Isaiah. The Scripture has a kingdom language with words such as government, mighty, and prince. Isaiah is not just saying that God is going to be our Messiah, but that there will be a reign.
This is further established in Isaiah 9:7 (ESV) by saying, “Of the increase of His government and of peace there willbe no end, on the throne of David and over His Kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” This is powerful. This is humbling. This is breathtaking to its core. The prophesied Messiah would be born, and the Messiah would be God in the flesh. This God-man would bring a Kingdom that would never end, and a Kingdom that had been in the making even with Abraham and David (a covenant of God if you will). Not only that, but this Kingdom will not end, and He will uphold it with His justice and righteousness.
Fast forward to Luke 1:31-33 (ESV) where an angel told the virgin Mary these words: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His nameJesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there will be no end.” Again, we see kingdom language taking place. This Kingdom is not like any other kingdom put in place. The Son of the Most High, the Messiah, will rule forever, with a Kingdom that will never, never end.
The question is important however: who is the house of Jacob? I believe that the Bible is very clear that not all is of Israel. How can I say this? Romans 9:6 (ESV) says, “…For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,” and again it Romans 9:8 (ESV) it continues, “This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.” So Israel is not only those who were born of Jewish lineage, but also those who have been granted the promise. This is what makes me think that what is being referenced by the angel Gabriel, and Luke, is that Christ will reign over Spiritual Israel, which is the Church. That’s right: the Christmas account actually has eschatological meaning.
Because the prophecies made about the Messiah were valid, because Jesus fulfilled every one of them, and because the coming of the King would bring the Kingdom… we have to come to an understanding that is not popular today. Million upon millions of Christians today ignore the song of the angels in Luke 2:14 (ESV) saying, “‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earthpeace among those with whom He is pleased!'” People look to the heavens singing O Come, O Come Emmanuel, thinking that the Kingdom is yet to come, and that Christ failed to fulfill the promises made in the Old Testament concerning His coming.
Dear brothers and sisters, Christ has fulfilled all the prophecies. I assure all of you that the song made by the angels was not in vain. Christ has brought peace to all men with whom He is pleased. His elect is being ruled even now. This Kingdom is now! It is not in the future, and it is not bound by a time limit of a thousand years. This Kingdom shall not end! Kim Raddlebarger once said that the reason Christ will even return to earth is to consummate the long awaited marriage between Christ and the Church, not to begin a process. Isn’t it awesome that the Son of the Most High God promised to rule His Church, and that His Kingdom would never end. It is a Kingdom of peace and victory!
Some say, “If the Kingdom is here, why is there war and persecution?” My answer is this: “Who said Christ’s Kingdom is on the earth?” …what place has no death, no war, no sickness, no weaknesses, no sorrow, no lack, and no loneliness? Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven. Christ reigns, even now, because He accomplished everything in His time on earth. How wonderful and amazing Christ is! How wonderful and amazing Christmas is! May we join the angels’ singing when they declared of the peaceful Kingdom that has come to us, and may we worship our King with delight and excitement. Let us bring all that we have, and lay it all before Him. Our King is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory, for His name is holy, and His rule is forever.
Soli Deo Gloria.