In 1741, George Frideric Handel composed Messiah, a great musical oratorio, with scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible. Messiah takes you through the Bible and the life of Christ, from Isaiah’s prophecy of salvation all the way through the Passion, ending with the promise of eternal life.
While it was originally written for Easter, many of us know it and have heard it in Christmas performances over the years. The power of the Hallelujah Chorus can bring tears to your eyes, as you imagine the angels in heaven singing praises to the Lord.
Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus brings back fond Christmas memories for me, as I sang it every year in high school, along with four choirs. It was the focal piece of our Christmas program, and no matter what you believed, you knew you had gotten a glimpse of heaven when you heard the words and notes of this great masterpiece.
At the time, I was not a Christian. I believed in God and knew Jesus was the Son of God, but I had no relationship with Him. I did not walk with Him, but when we sang the Hallelujah Chorus, it moved me every time. I felt as if I had stood before the throne of God and I heard the angels join in with the choir. It was the only explanation for the incredible sound of the voices raised in praise to the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
The true majesty of this masterpiece is found in its title, Messiah. Jesus Christ is the center of the Bible and thus the center of this oratorio. That is what makes it such an amazing work of art. It is focused on the Savior of our souls.
The prophecy says: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
When Charles Jennens read this verse, he recognized the enormity of its prophecy. It was the announcement of our coming Savior. It is the reason we celebrate Christmas …for unto us a Child is born… If you are a believer, I pray you recognize the importance of this event. If you do not believe, I pray the Lord would open your eyes to the truth of this prophecy.
We may not be celebrating on the exact day Christ was born, but we are recognizing the birth of our Savior. As we celebrate the Son of God, I pray you take the time to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus and take the time to praise and worship the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, our great Messiah!