Why did the angels sing? In the passage for our consideration today, we see a magnificent sight of the heavenly host singing a grand song of praise: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” What prompted the angels to proclaim these wonderful words of praise?
The last time we read of the angels rendering such songs of praises to God was when they witnessed God’s creative power manifested when He created the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7). The next time we would hear of the angels singing a grand song of praise is when they behold the Lamb of God sitting upon His throne, who is worthy to open the book sealed with seven seals (Rev 5:11-13). This event then recorded for us in Luke 2:8-14 must be a most glorious event that the angelic host would praise God in such a manner.
What is this event? The Bible declares that it is the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is so special about this birth? Thousands of babies are born every day; hundreds are born every minute all over the world, but the angels do not sing in those happy but ordinary occasions. So why do the angels sing here? Why did the angels declare: “glory to God in the highest?”
The Bible tells us it is because it is not the birth of an ordinary child, but it is the birth of the “Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (v.11). The Lord Jesus Christ is the anointed Messiah – the word “Christ” means the “anointed one.” He is the anointed Prophet, Priest and King being spoken of in the Old Testament as a sign to God’s people (Isa 7:14). He is the Saviour, for He came to save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21). He is the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is God incarnate; God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim 3:16).
This greatest event that the Almighty Son of God, the one who created all things by the Word of His power, the one to whom all is subjected to, whether things in heaven or things in earth; the eternal Living Word, He became man. What a great and glorious thing.
But the question is, what is so glorious in Christ becoming man? It is great and glorious because it is God’s gift and because of His wonderful love for us. All man should die because of our sins – all we have transgressed God’s law, we have fallen short of His glory. But God has a plan of salvation for us all. This plan rests in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as a man for us all. As a man, Christ can represent man; as a man, Christ can die for man; as a man, Christ when he rose again from the grave became the firstfruit of all who will rise again. Thus the angels have to sing at this great event.
The reason for the angels’ song is also found in the song itself. In the coming of Christ, the Anointed One, He brings true peace when by His life and death, He reconciles sinners to God. Christ the Prince of peace brings peace (Isa 9:6). Christ is also God’s gift of love towards man. Thus He is the expression of God’s good pleasure towards man (the word “good will” also means “good pleasure”). There is no reason for God to be pleased with man, except through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why did the angels sing? Because it was the birth of the Christ. Today, as you think of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, do you also rejoice? Do you rejoice in His marvelous work which He has done for you? This is why the angels sung. Will you also praise the Lord with this glorious song?
(Written by Pr. Joshua Yong)