We hope you are having the best time celebrating this holiday season with your loved ones! As I have been studying an advent devotional, I am completely taken aback by the arrival of God’s promised Messiah, the birth of Jesus, in a fresh and powerful way. There are so many reasons to take a moment and put all the crazy hustle and bustle on pause, but I would love to specifically invite you to take a few moments and meditate on this promise fulfilled. When God sent Jesus to be born, He not only fulfilled His promise in sending a Savior for the world, but also revealed the vastness of His love for us. God knew the magnitude of sin would require a magnitude of reconciliation and in order to make a way so that we could be redeemed, a sacrifice of the highest price must be made. His answer to sin and death was to make perfect atonement by delivering an infant King, who would have the ability to choose to withstand sin and after time spent on earth, would grow up to be sacrificed for the sins of man. God offered up His son, Jesus, to live a life not of comfort and ease but instead a life of servanthood and unimaginable suffering. By putting the weight of the world on His son’s shoulders, God kept the promise that He would make a way for us to be with Him forever through the reconciliation that was accomplished by Christ on the cross.
We read this powerful prophecy in Isaiah 53 (ESV):
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected[ by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Next time we see a nativity scene, may we be reminded of the weight of the promise that brought the baby Jesus, the Messiah. Let us never forget that we are the transgressors He made intercession for described in verse 12. It was our sins that He was born to carry on the cross. May we also celebrate that Jesus is coming again, and use this Christmas season to offer up our lives to be used to make His name known while we wait for His return.
To continue the mediation on the Savior of the world, we have compiled a playlist (see below)for you to use in your own time of prayer. Let us know how you are centering your heart and mind on Christ this season!
We are lining up stories to share here on the blog next year, so if you have experienced God in YOUR life–click HERE to join the movement! We want to hear from YOU!
Merry Christmas friends, I can’t wait to watch God move through this community in 2017!
Grace and Peace,