“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” Luke 2:13-14
How does a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger bring glory to God? The first thing the multitude of “heavenly host” said about this new birth was, “Glory to God.” How is it? How does God get glory for this?
It’s something we better grasp, because obviously it is why God did it. He did what He did, the way He did it, to get glory for Himself.
Quite simply because God did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Someone gets glory when they do it all. Someone gets glory for getting the credit for doing something. We needed someone to rescue us from the wrath of God because of our sin. We needed a representative to do it for us. Every human being – from Adam to the most recent baby born today to the last baby to be born at the end of time as we know it – has failed. We have turned our own way and done our own thing (See Romans 1-3). We cannot save ourselves. We cannot enter into the relationship we were created to enter into (see Genesis 1 and 2) without someone intervening on our behalf.
To put it another way, it is not possible for a human to have genuine, authentic, deep, and everlasting peace unless God does something. Which is why, the second part of the angel’s chorus says, “and on earth, peace among those with whom He is pleased.” God gets glory because God brought peace.
Unless God acted on our behalf – indeed did everything for us – we would all get what we deserve and never – ever – have peace.
But God. . .
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved . . .” Ephesians 2:4-5
For God. . .
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God sent a Savior.
God sent the Messiah.
God sent Himself in the form of a human.
There came a baby, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in an animal’s feeding trough.
Glory to God in the highest.