XTuesday, December 24, 2013
The Greek for "Christ the Lord" from Luke 2:11
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
There aren’t many words that start with X.
I checked the dictionary, found a few, and couldn’t pronounce most of them because they are words we rarely use.
Then it hit me.
The letter X is actually an ancient symbol for Christ because it stands for the first letter in the Greek word for Christ:
Χριστός (pronounced “chris-tos”).
R. C. Sproul explains it this way:
Christos is the New Testament Greek for Christ. The first letter of the Greek word Christos is transliterated into our alphabet as an X. That X has come through church history to be a shorthand symbol for the name of Christ.
Luke 2:11 uses three words to describe him: Savior . . . Christ . . . Lord. Each word is vitally important. Savior is actually an Old Testament word that means “one who delivers his people.” Christ is the Greek version of the Hebrew word Messiah, which means “the anointed One.” Lord is a term for Deity. It’s a synonym for God.
I received a letter from a prisoner in Wisconsin who had read An Anchor for the Soul. The oldest of five children, he came from a single-parent family. He joined a gang and dropped out of school in the ninth grade. At the age of 17, he was arrested, tried and convicted of first-degree murder. Sentenced to life in prison, he had been behind bars for 19 years when he wrote me. This is his comment: “Dr. Pritchard, many had given up on me, but God never did! I was told that I would never amount to anything but God says otherwise. I was told that I would find death in prison but instead I found eternal life.” How does he feel about his 19 years behind bars?
I have been so overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of Christ—I’ve been given a wonderful peace that surpasses all understanding. I am absolutely convinced that had I not come to prison, my life would have been completely devastated beyond repair. It’s now been 19 years of incarceration and these years have been the most refreshing and enlightening years of my life—I am truly blessed beyond words.
Only the grace of God can enable a man to talk like that. He even wants to write a book about his life story called Saved by the Cell. That’s why Christ came—to be a Savior for everyone who will turn to him.
He is the Savior, he is the Lord, and he is the Christ—the one sent from God. This is the heart of Christmas. God loved us enough to send his only begotten Son.
Remember this. The X stands for Christ who is our Savior and Lord. And that’s what Christmas is all about.
We call you Lord because that is what you are. We call you Savior because you came to save us from our sins. We call you Christ because all God’s promises are fulfilled in you. Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever! Amen.