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We can tell every single person we meet that we have good news for them. We have joy to offer everyone the whole world over. The Son of God was promised at the very beginning, when our first parents fell. “One will come who will crush the serpent’s head,” the Lord declared. Then, the promises of this coming One were multiplied, defined, expanded, and enriched. He would be the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. He would be born of a virgin, and His kingdom would spread throughout the groaning world. He would be the Lamb of God who would take away our sin. The chastisement of our peace would be laid on Him, and with His wounds we would be healed. God would continue to be a just, sin-hating God, but now He could be merciful to us also because our guilt had been imputed to the Lord Christ. We need not carry the wickedness of what we have done to the Great White Throne and there receive the justice it merits. The Lord, the sin bearer, has come. God has made His eternal and divine Son to be sin for all who seek a refuge from wrath in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). Favored men and women will take the offer of righteousness that God extends to all who will respond in trembling joy to the good news.

To whom is this offer made? To those who will be found wherever the curse is found. Geographically and socially, there is no place in this fallen world where the curse is not found. We have good news for all mankind, everywhere, that if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Savior, then the curse that hangs over your head has vanished forever. We have a message of joy to the whole world.

We know a living Lord. The One in charge of our lives has all authority in heaven and earth, and He loves us with an everlasting love.

So, what must I do to benefit from this One who has come into the world? Isaac Watts, who wrote this hymn, tells us. He says, “Receive Him as your King!” Not as your buddy but as your Master. Become His servant. Believe on the Lord—that is, on the Master, who is Jesus Christ—and you will be saved. Receive Him, O sinner, receive Him. Receive this joyful message for one simple reason: it is true.

But there is even more cause to rejoice. This Savior reigns. He is in charge of this world and of everything that touches our lives, including things as gentle as a mother’s kiss on the cheek of her sleeping child and the worldwide spread of a merciless, indiscriminate pandemic. Christ is in control. Nothing happens by mere chance. People may do the most cruel things against us to harm us, but Jesus Christ means it all for our good. And it is true. So, let the whole world be overwhelmed with the joy of it. The fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains—let them all echo with us our sounding joy. It is too good to be kept in our hearts.

What has caused you to read these words now? Not mere luck. What makes the people who know and love you the most keep praying for you day by day? Jesus Christ, the Lord of kindness. It is He who rules the world with truth and grace. He constrains men and women in all the nations of the world to prove the glories of His righteousness and the wonders of His love. He constrains them to pray for their family and friends without ever stopping.

Do you know that every believer in Jesus has had this Savior’s righteousness imputed to him? Do you know that each one is loved with an everlasting love, and all of them are going to be changed into the image of the archetypal man when they meet Him after death? Joy to the world even in the face of death. We know a living Lord. The One in charge of my life has all authority in heaven and earth, and He loves me with an everlasting love. Joy to the world wherever the curse is found, to all who receive Him as their King.

Born to Raise the Sons of Earth

Give Him My Heart

Keep Reading The Theology of Christmas Hymns

From the December 2021 Issue
Dec 2021 Issue