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God's Saving Love Sets Me Free

December 24th 2010 by Joel Schultz

Have you ever thought of the birth of Jesus as an invasion to begin a battle? That is very much what happened on that night so long ago. An army of One invaded satan's domain of this sin, darkened world and battled the forces of sin, death, and hell for us. In the victory of the cross, we have victory. The birth of Jesus reminds us that God's saving love sets us free!

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Christmas Eve – “God’s Saving Love Frees Me” – Luke 2:10-14; Isaiah 9:2–9 – 7pm, 12/24/10

It may have been a silent night when our Lord first appeared on earth as a man – when the Word of God became a speechless baby boy. But it didn’t stay silent for long. For soon after our Savior drew His first breath and exhaled His first cry, His army of angels knew the battle was engaged. They knew it was D-day. The invasion of satan’s domain had begun. The army of angels sprang into action. They sought out the night watchmen, guarding their flock. They kept their silence no longer—how could they? How could they not bubble over with joy?

The world was darkened by sin, not at all what God had created. It had been broken and spoiled, all of it taken captive under the deadly dominion of satan. The ruthless dictator of lies turned man against God, brother against brother, spouses against each other, children against parents, and so forth. He planted the weeds of selfishness, envy, self-righteousness, pride, lust, and arrogance in what had been the Lord’s beautiful garden spot.

Now fear lingered in the heart of every man along with every evil passion and rebellion. Worst of all, many broken sinners did not take to heart the promises of the coming Deliverer. They lived as if they could solve their own problems.

So how could the angels not bubble over with joy? They could see it—the beauty of it all—the perfect plan coming together. The Promised One has established a foothold in Bethlehem. He’s come to set His people free. The Prince of Peace is here to wage war against the prince of this fallen world. So, the angels appear before these night watchmen and explain what has happened in Bethlehem in a lowly stable perhaps just moments before: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11)

The Lord dispatched His landing party for us sinners. Although it is smaller than anyone would expect, this army of One is greater than any ever before or ever after. For God has sent a Savior! The Father has sent His eternal Son to break the yoke of slavery and the rod of the oppressor as Isaiah declared: “For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian” (Isaiah 9:4).

“The day of Midian” refers to a time when the children of Israel were subjugated by the Midianites. God raised up Gideon to throw off the yoke of slavery. Before the attack, 32,000 men gathered with Gideon to fight. But the Lord said this was too many and He let those who don’t want to fight go home – 22,000 left. The Lord said the remaining 10,000 were too many, and so He finally whittled the number down to 300 – 300 to attack an army of 120,000. The 300 were stationed around the Midianite army at night with jars of clay over burning torches and trumpets. At Gideon’s trumpet blast the 300 all sounded the attack on their trumpets, broke the clay pitchers, and held up brightly burning torches. The forces of the false god were driven into total confusion and attacked themselves.

So Jesus’ attack on Satan’s kingdom was “as on the day of Midian.” He made a sneak attack, small, at night, with the brightness of His divine glory hidden under the clay jar of His humanity. But make no mistake about it – this birth was not just a cute, picturesque moment. It was the breaking of Satan’s dominion, it was the regaining of God’s rightful territory, and it was the beginning of true freedom for burdened, enslaved people. For the baby born is the very Son of God, the Savior born to you!

You who have been pressed down by the yoke of slavery, the burden of carrying guilt and shame because of all your sin, look, this Son born to you breaks the burdensome yoke of sin by letting it press down on Him all the way to Golgotha’s hill. And just as He bounded free from the grave, so He declares “forgiven” and “free” all who trust in Him. Confess the weight of your sin to Him and rejoice, for He takes it all away.

You who have been living in the darkness and gloom of the shadow of death, this Son born to you breaks forth in light, brilliantly shining. At the cross, bearing the full darkness of death in His own body, it appeared the light was extinguished. But He rose with rays of healing peace and joy that drive back death’s reign. Death must release and set free Christ’s people forever.

It is this good news – the greatest good news ever – God is here in your flesh to be Your Savior! – which inspired the angels to break out singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (Luke 2:14).

Oh, see how high God’s glory is. Not just that He is awesome, majestic, high and holy above all power, authority, and might, but especially that He freely chooses to be born on earth, to be our brother, to suffer and die as we deserve, all the while living perfectly as we should have. He does all this because God loves you dearly with an undeserved, unstoppable love that has come to free you and keep you in God’s grace forever.

Foil satan and hell, sin and death – foil them with the joy only Christ Jesus gives. Let Him comfort and defend you. Let Him feed and strengthen you. For He who once was born of Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed in a manger, is here for you in His Holy Word and soon will be wrapped in bread and wine and placed on a plate and in a cup for Your salvation!

Yes, we’re surrounded by troubles and heartbreaks, and to be sure satan, sin and selfishness relentlessly attack, but don’t just sit there – sing for joy! Your Savior is born! There is peace on earth for you, for God loves you dearly and His saving love frees you.

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