Merry Christmas! Today, we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, who came to fulfill the law on our behalf and be a perfect priest, judge, and king for the world. Throughout this study, I hope you have seen how good, perfect, and sovereign God is. He promised to reconcile his people to Himself, and all His promises are “yes” and “amen” in Christ!
Our study today will focus on the familiar hymn “Hark the Harold Angel’s Sing”. Read the hymn's lyrics several times with the following questions in mind: 1. Who is Jesus? 2. How did he fulfill prophecies about the Messiah? 3. What did Jesus come to do? 4. How should we respond?
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Refrain:Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving pow’r,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Who is Jesus? He is the King! He is adored by heaven and is the Everlasting Lord. He is God made flesh, dwelling with His people.
How did he fulfill prophecies about the Messiah? He was born in Bethlehem, he was born of a virgin, and he is the Second Adam; the one that God promised Eve would crush the head of the serpent.
Read more about the promises he has fulfilled here:
I once read that the likelihood that even 8 of these prophecies would be fulfilled in one person is one hundred quadrillion to one. Imagine the likelihood of all 300 being fulfilled by one man. Yet Christ has.
What did Jesus come to do? The third verse declares how we are reconciled to God; what joyous news! He has restored us to the Father.
Born that man no more may die;Born to raise the sons of earth,Born to give them second birth.
Christ was born, died, and was raised to life so that we might have life in him. He has restored our “ruined nature” and united us to himself.
How should we respond?
Joyful, all ye nations rise,Join the triumph of the skies;With th’angelic host proclaim,“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
We are called to Hail Christ or to rejoice in Christ. We are called to join the triumph of angels proclaiming.
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
We should also continue to grow in our Christlikeness. This process is called sanctification. The fifth verse starts by saying “Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface, stamp Thine image in its place:” In Ephesians 4, Paul instructs the church: 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
As we celebrate this Christmas season, reflect again on these four questions and read through the song a few more times, stopping to thank God for how each answer glorifies Him!