This is yesterday’s devotional. Today’s will be up later.
When a popular gaming company introduced a new gaming system, my daughter had to have it. She tried to order it online to get it delivered on the day it was released. A couple of different companies took her order, only to come back later and say, “Oops. Sorry. We won’t have enough.” And cancel the order. She was finally able to arrange to get one, and the initial game that came with it showed why people were so excited about the system. The game was the latest in the Legend of Zelda series called “Breath of the Wild.” Zelda, for those of you who have only heard the title but never played the game, is a princess whose Kingdom was overrun by a dark force. Link is the name of the hero whose job it is to rescue Zelda and release her kingdom from the darkness. My daughter and I have come to the conclusion that if Zelda were waiting on me, playing the character of Link, to save her, she’d be waiting a lot longer because of my lack of skill in playing video games.
That theme is common in video games and movies. The hero must battle the forces of darkness that seek to control the kingdom. He, or she, may start with an army, but the climax of the movie will usually be one person facing the power of darkness in the final battle. By the time the battle’s over, the hero will emerge victorious, just because, and the land will be set free from those dark, evil powers. As heroic as it may seem, the story of a hero overcoming the darkness isn’t new. In fact, as Paul dealt with the church at Colossae, he used that picture to describe what God did for us through Jesus. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14 NIV)
There is darkness in our world; there is darkness in the heart of each individual. Perhaps that’s why we recognize the coming of Jesus into this world with light. We remember the Magi who followed the star; we imagine the heavenly chorus announcing His birth to the shepherds appearing as a bright light in the skies. We decorate our houses with lights. The kingdom of this world has become a dominion of darkness dominated by sin and the evil one. The story of Christmas is a jarring story of the beginning of the battle to take the world back from this darkness. And, just when it seemed that evil had won and good had lost as the body of Jesus was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb, three days later Jesus burst out of the grave, His victory over death accomplished. Because of his victory, the Father offers us the chance to leave the domain of darkness and enter into the kingdom of the Son while granting us forgiveness through His grace in Jesus.
The important thing to remember about what Jesus did when He entered the world, and then, when He conquered death is that this isn’t a video game. The domain of darkness is real. Its power is found in the control that sin has over us. The amazing thing about the grace of God is that He offers His grace to all who are stuck in the dark domain of sin. He offers a way out of that dark domain and into the light through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He proved His power over that domain by defeating the most powerful enemy sin sends our way: death. God’s offer to rescue each of us doesn’t depend on “cleaning up our lives” or “making ourselves fit for the kingdom,” it comes from His grace and the knowledge that the penalty for our sin was paid for at the cross. The power over sin and death He showed at the resurrection shows that He has the power to forgive our sin and take us out of that dark domain. You don’t have to wait forever, or even any longer, to place your trust in Him and enter the Kingdom of Jesus.
Lord, thank You for bringing me into the Kingdom of Jesus. Help me to show others how to come in.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.