“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem . . . . to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child . . . . And she brought forth her firstborn Child and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn.  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields . . . .and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them . . . . 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 Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2:4-11). (Bold print mine)

This historical account of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, taking on the form of a man, was the fulfillment of a prophecy made some 4000 years earlier, when Adam and Eve committed the sin of disobedience and needed a Saviour to restore them to God’s favour by forgiving them of their sin.  Jesus Christ entered our world specifically to save us from our sins.  The Apostle Paul relates this great truth.  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the foremost.”  (1 Timothy 1:15)

Having the assurance of being at peace with God through the pardon of our sins causes an explosion of joy that is just impossible to completely explain!!   “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love.  Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  (1 Peter 1:7-8). God promises this joy to each person who will respond to His offer of mercy!  “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardons iniquity . . . . He will not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.”  (Micah 7:18). To those who respond by repenting, we read:  ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   (Nehemiah 8:10). “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost”. (Acts 13:52)

On the cross, Jesus Christ saw all those who would repent of their sins and trust in Him as their Saviour, and it brought great joy“Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 11:2)

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