The angelic proclamation heralded a triumphant Christmas Day invasion by God’s Kingdom.
With all the pretty Christmas cards showing angels, shepherds, magi, and manger scenes, it’s easy to romanticize the events surrounding our Savior’s birth. But not everyone was singing “Joy to the World” at the time.
To King Herod, the newborn king was a threat. He was so insecure and angry that he slaughtered all the male children who were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16).
And when the angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, they didn’t rejoice right away, either. Instead, “they were greatly afraid” (Luke 2:9). The angel gave them a stunning announcement:
There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Today many people love to talk about the forgiveness and grace offered by Jesus as their Savior. But notice that, right from the beginning, the heavenly proclamation made it clear that He also was coming as our LORD and KING. Jesus later warned that no one should even call Him “Lord” unless they were willing to obey what He said (Luke 6:46). He was looking for disciples—wholly devoted followers—not merely converts.
Setting Captives Free
Jesus’ birth signaled that a new kingdom had come. It was an invasion of Heaven into the earthly realm. When our Lord began His ministry, He shocked the religious leaders by quoting the prophet Isaiah:
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD (Luke 4:18-19).
Notice that Jesus didn’t describe the Gospel as only a ticket for people to change their eternal destiny from hell to Heaven. Instead, He was on a rescue mission to heal the brokenhearted…proclaim liberty to the captives…offer sight to the blind and deliverance to the oppressed…and proclaim the availability of God’s supernatural favor.
A divine invasion was on display, and God’s Kingdom was being revealed on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10). The Master was declaring His assignment to destroy the works of the enemy and set the devil’s captives free (1 John 3:8).
A Spiritual D-Day
June 6, 1944, was the beginning of D-day, when Allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy to set Europe free from Nazi control. Hitler’s forces didn’t surrender all at once, but D-day marked a huge turning point in World War II.
In the same way, the birth of Jesus was the first step in a heavenly invasion that would one day result in Satan’s total defeat. Look at this progression of our Lord’s victory over the forces of the enemy:
During His earthly ministry, Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).
By His cross and resurrection, He “disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15).
Heaven’s future victory has already been declared: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).
You see, Jesus’ birth triggered an amazing progression of events, which will ultimately be consummated at His return. So if the enemy has gained a foothold in some area of your life today, you have the authority to make him flee (James 4:7).
My friend, this Christmas I pray you’ll let the power of Heaven invade your health, finances, emotions, and family—setting you free in Jesus’ mighty name!
Ben Cerullo has been named by Charisma Magazine as one of the “30 Emerging Voices” who will lead the church in the next decade. His ministry carries a powerful anointing and prophetic message. Traveling extensively, both domestically and internationally, he has spoken in more than 27 nations. God continues to use him to reach people with the Gospel, confirming His Word with signs following.