The Annunciation, By Carl Heinrich Bloch

The Annunciation, By Carl Heinrich Bloch

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have four weeks to celebrate Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent was last Sunday. The birth of our Savior is an exceedingly important event. The Annunciation of the Angel to Mary telling her that she was to be the mother of the Messiah; Mary asked the Angel, ‘How this could be’? He told her that it would be the work of the Holy Spirit.

“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.” Luke 1:35 “

And Mary said,

‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38

Christmas and Easter are the two great festivals of Christianity. When the baby was born to Mary, it was a great gift that God gave to the world. The magi from the east brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Mary and Joseph and the child. It is proper for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus, his growth, and his maturity.

“And the child grew and became strong filled with wisdom and the favor of God was upon him.” Luke 2:40

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:32

The coming of Jesus, the Messiah was clearly foretold in the Old Testament:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” Genesis 49:10

Moses spoke of him:

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed.” Deuteronomy 18:15

The Messiah was to be of the clan of Jesse and David:

“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jeremiah 33:15

The Messiah was to be God incarnate:

“Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 “and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

He would be born in Bethlehem:

“But you O Bethlehem Ephrathah who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2

His Palm Sunday entrance into Jerusalem is described:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo your king comes to you: triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9

The betrayal of the Messiah is foretold:

“Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” Psalm 41:9

His suffering and crucifixion are depicted:

“Yes, dogs are round about me, a company of evil doers encircle me: they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; They divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots.” Psalm 22:16-18

At Christmas time, we remember God’s gift of his Son. At Christmas time, we remember Mary’s obedience. At Christmas time, we remember the gift of Salvation that our Savior gave to us.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.