If ever there was a day for rejoicing it was the one on which the Lord Jesus was born. From the time of Eden it was promised that the “seed of the woman” would be a solution to the curses which have inflicted the earth ever since. All that had gone before simply showed that man could not be the solution – it would take one who was both Son of God and Son of (wo)Man to bring an end to the problems. The prophet proclaimed “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). No wonder there was joy among the angels in heaven which had to be shared with mankind.
Shepherds received the message first. As the angelic host proclaimed peace on earth and “good will toward men” they were not simply reflecting a happy feeling at the birth of a child. This “good will” which they proclaimed is all about the salvation now available through the work of the Lord Jesus. The same word appears in Ephesians 1 (as “good pleasure” in the KJV) and it tells us God’s good will is to give us the inheritance and to make us accepted. If that can be done for the likes of you and me there can be no greater cause for rejoicing.