Luke 1:57-80; Ezekiel 35-36; Isaiah 59
There will be many worship services today and tomorrow to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Everyone enjoys the birth of a baby. In the midst of the joy we must remember that Jesus came for a purpose; Jesus was born to be a sacrifice for our sins. Isaiah described the conditions in Israel, and those conditions hold true for all of us. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) The people of Israel couldn’t understand why God was not protecting them. Isaiah reminded them that it was their own sins that separated them from God. They continually rebelled against God. They went their own way, stubbornly defying God’s plan and purpose for their lives. And so us today. We were as people with no God until we came to faith in Jesus Christ. We may have “kept Christmas well” in our hearts and in our actions, but still, we were separated from God. Our relationship with God was only restored when we came to God on His terms. His terms, though, included His payment for that restored relationship. We came to Him not as triumphant victors offering great sacrifices, but we came in full recognition of our separation from Him. We realized that the only way to come to Him was through the blood of Jesus Christ: the One who was crucified and resurrected for us. So we celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus. Our celebration is bittersweet as we remember that Jesus was born to die; Jesus was born to bear the penalty for our sins.
Lord God, as I celebrate the birth of the King, help me to remember that this King came to die for my sins. Help me to honor You as I live a life that shows Your love and Your grace to others. Let me live as one forgiven by God by being one who forgives others.