The Joyful Cradle

I remember when Heather told me we were pregnant with Zoe. We were excited to have our first child, and I was overcome with joy for about fifteen minutes. I literally laughed with excitement and anticipation. I laughed so hard I was crying and crying so hard I was laughing. Maybe you have experienced similar joy at the announcement of great news, or maybe God has touched your life and it has produced His inexpressible, supernatural joy and filled your mouth with laughter (Ps 126 & 1 Peter 1:8).

In Luke 2:10-11, the angels announce the coming Savior:

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”

The joy of Christ’s coming is discovered in the cradle. This conquering King, the Creator of all Created, the Ancient of Days–stepped into creation. God himself, stepped, as it were, out of the picture frame of His Word–and was manifest among us. John in 1 John 1 describes the joy of the Christmas message. “We have heard, we have seen…, we have looked upon, and our hands have handled…” (1 John 1:1:1)

The joy of Christmas is not found in the gifts, the parties, and the meals; the joy of Christmas is the joy of Christ. Like the shepherds of old, we too can humbly receive the joyous news and participate in the joyous celebration because it was Christ’s joy to humble himself and take on the nature of man. It was Christ’s joy to endure the cross for our sin. It was Christ who was exalted by God above all others and received the oil of gladness (Ps 45:7-8).

Charles Spurgeon gives commentary on this joy:

On account of our Lord’s perfect life he is now rewarded with superior joy. Others there are to whom grace has given a sacred fellowship with him, but by their universal consent and his own merit, he is prince among them, the gladdest of all because the cause of all their gladness. At Oriental feasts oil was poured on the heads of distinguished and very welcome guests; God himself anoints the man Christ Jesus, as he sits at the heavenly feasts, anoints him as a reward for his work, with higher and fuller joy than any else can know; thus is the Son of man honoured and rewarded for all his pains.

It’s time to enjoy your life. It’s time to have a joy-filled life. Christ came to restore the joy of salvation for each us. He came, anointed by God to proclaim this joyous message of healing, freedom, and restoration. In Him is found superior joy. This is why we can truly sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come!” Today, may you find yourself looking into Christ’s cradle and discover again the pure and excellent joy from above!

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