Daily Devotional - 9 July 2020
“I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
What causes the angels to rejoice? The act of repentance by a person–man, woman, child. A party starts up every time someone on earth admits to his/her imperfections and need for God. Our acceptance of God’s plan to bring about a restored relationship between Himself and His creation through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, is a cause for celestial celebration. It is reminiscent of another event that caused the angels to break out in wonder, adoration and exultation. The story of the Nativity.
On the night Jesus was born, amazing things occurred...many of which remained unseen to the human eye. God performed a miracle. Cradled in the arms of His human mother, Mary, was the Son of God–fully human and fully God. The Messiah had come. And while the Jewish nation had been awaiting for the Messiah to arrive as a conquering king who would free them from the tyranny of earthly oppressors, the angels had an entirely different perspective.
You see the angels had witnessed God’s amazing work at Creation; they had marvelled at His ‘very good’ work. How devastated these same beings must have been when they witnessed Adam and Eve, through an act of disobedience, literally unravel much of Creation’s goodness. Sin became part of human existence affecting change beyond merely ourselves. Sin is a spiritual cancer that has ravaged everything within God’s created order ever since. Paul tells us in Romans 8:20-24, “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved.” How the angels must have mourned at the loss of the full goodness which God had imbued into His Creation, now thoroughly tainted by sin.
But all was not lost. Can you imagine the look on the angels’ faces when God promised His vengeance on the serpent and unveiled His plan for redemption...utter surprise, replaced with sheer delight. God had a plan! “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). Is it any wonder then, on the night of Jesus’ birth, that the angels burst out in unrestrained praise of God–they couldn’t contain themselves and God didn’t expect them too. They lit up the night sky, terrifying some local shepherds, until they were able to explain the reason for their celebration–the Redeemer had come!
On the cross Jesus completed all that was necessary for our full redemption from sin–death no longer has a hold on anyone who chooses to accept the price Christ paid; however, not until Jesus returns will we experience the full redemption of God’s Creation. It is then, that we will rise to be with Him no longer enslaved to the grave (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), we will receive new and imperishable bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53), we will no longer know pain–either physical, emotional or spiritual (Revelation 21:4). While we remain here on this planet, we can experience ‘tastes’ of the things to come, but we will never be fully free of physical death, sickness, sorrow and the like until Jesus puts the finishing touches on His work–begun as a baby brought to completion as the KING!
I wonder if the angels celebrate the decision by members of our race, to obediently follow God’s plan, in anticipation of the coming full scale heavenly block party. How do they contain their excitement and impatience as they wait for the ‘ribbon cutting’ on Jesus’ redemptive work which will result in the full realization of the salvation of God’s whole creation? Can you imagine it? God’s human children and God’s heavenly host shaking the foundations of our universe with their joined symphony of praise. That is one party I am not going to miss!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!