The first shoe to drop was in the fields outside Bethlehem. The most-favored angel of all the ages brought the best news ever delivered to a small cluster of shepherds who heard it in stunned silence.
Do not be afraid. For I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be to 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)
In making this announcement-of-all-announcements, the angel was revealing what God was doing at that moment, Who the babe in the manger actually was, and the purpose for which He had made this momentuous journey.
He came as our Savior.
If I may be allowed to say so, Jesus wasn’t the Savior yet. He came to do the things necessary in order to become our Savior. Salvation is not a do-it-yourself project for us, but in a manner of speaking, it was for Jesus. He came into the world to become our Light, our Pioneer and Trail-blazer, our Sin-bearer, our Propitiation, our Substitute, our Mediator.
That’s the first part of the story. The second part–the other shoe to drop–is the account of what He did to achieve our salvation.
The New Testament is rife with tributes to Jesus for what He accomplished. From the Epistle to the Hebrews alone, here are some of the glowing testimonials to what He achieved.
Here is the other side of the Christmas story.
Jesus purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3.
Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
He Himself likewise shared in the same (that is, flesh and blood), that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15.
Though He was a Son, He learned obedience in the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:8.
And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:9-10.
Not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:13-14.
But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once and after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:26-26.
We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
After He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, (Jesus) sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:12-14.
Who for the joy set before Him, (Jesus) endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.
Therefore, Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Hebrews 13:12.
There! Think He makes the point? I do. The point being that Jesus Christ has achieved and worked out and wrought and hammered out salvation for us for all time, forever. He finished the job. He did what He came to do. On the cross, He said, “It is finished.”
He had manufactured salvation.
This epistle is saturated with “therefores.” In chapter 10 alone, we are told:
–Therefore, we have confidence to enter the Holy Place through Jesus’ blood. (vs. 19)
–Therefore, we have a great High Priest over God’s house. (vs. 21)
–Therefore, let us draw near to Him. (vs. 22)
–Therefore, let us hold fast our hope. (vs. 23)
–Therefore, let us encourage each other in serving Him. (vs. 24-25)