How do the angelic announcements of Mary’s conception and of the birth of Christ relate to the Old Testament promises concerning the coming messiah, and what do they reveal about Christ’s forthcoming mission and work?
On this program, the hosts are continuing their series on The Meaning of Christmas by taking a closer look at the Annunciation. Join us on this edition of the White Horse Inn.
“In the Annunciation, Luke 1, we read, ‘In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, oh, favored one, the Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at the saying and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the son of the Most High and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be since I’m a virgin?” The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word,” and the angel departed from her.’
“Wow, there’s so much packed into this one announcement here. One of the things that sticks out to me immediately is just how in contrast with the myths of the world religions, you have here everything tied down to dates and places and a trail of DNA leading back to a particular person: David, the king. This child is going to assume that royal throne.”
Term to Learn
“The Offices of Christ”
The fact that Christ was anointed to a threefold office finds its explanation in the fact that man was originally intended for this threefold office and work. As created by God, he was prophet, priest, and king, and as such was endowed with knowledge and understanding, with righteousness and holiness, and with dominion over the lower creation.
Sin affected the entire life of man and manifested itself not only as ignorance, blindness, error, and untruthfulness; but also as unrighteousness, guilt, and moral pollution; and in addition to that as misery, death, and destruction. Hence it was necessary that Christ, as our Mediator, should be prophet, priest, and king. As Prophet He represents God with man; as Priest He represents man in the presence of God, and as King He exercises dominion and restores the original dominion of man.
(Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, p. 357)