Luke 2:14, Christmas Day 2014


Thursday, 25 December 2014

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:14

On 25 December of each year, we remember the birth of the Lord Jesus. Actually the Bible pinpoints the delivery of His birth to the September/October time-frame, but backing that up for the nine months of human gestation, we arrive at the 25 December time-frame. The most astonishing moment in human history occurred on this day. God united with human flesh in the womb of a virgin of Israel; it is His birthday.

Christ Jesus was born in sinless perfection. All other human beings who have ever existed since the creation of man were born of Adam. When Adam fell, man fell in Adam. All people have received Adam’s fallen sin-nature. It is inherited through the father. But at the time of Abraham, God gave the Hebrew people the sign of circumcision. It is a picture of cutting away the sin-nature in man through the cutting of the flesh of the male organ where sin is transferred. Christ Jesus came and fulfilled that picture.

Being born of God the Father, He didn’t receive man’s fallen state; inherited sin is cut off in Him. And being born of a woman, he received full-humanity. Thus He is the God/Man. But there is more. He was born of a woman of Israel and thus born under the law; God’s standard. As He was born without sin, He was the first person since Adam who was capable of fully pleasing God and thus redeeming man. However, He needed to fulfill the law perfectly in order to replace Adam’s fallen state. He was capable, but could He also qualify?

The answer is, “Yes!” The four gospels are recorded to show us that not only was He capable of fulfilling the law, but that He actually did fulfill the law. Where Adam failed, Christ prevailed. After fulfilling the law, He gave His own life in exchange for the sins of fallen man – both inherited sin as well as committed sin.

Where we were born in Adam and destined for eternal separation from God, we can now be “in Christ” and destined for eternal fellowship with Him. In Christ, all that is needed for restoration, propitiation, and fellowship with our Creator is obtainable. And it is available through a mere act of faith.

God asks us to put aside our useless deeds which are ineffective to restore us to Him, and to put our full trust in the work of Christ alone. By faith, and by faith alone, we are moved from Adam to Christ. It is by grace you are saved, God’s grace, through faith in God’s provision. It is not by works where we can boast before God, but instead it is by His mighty right arm that together the redeemed of the Lord will for eternal ages proclaim –

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Hallelujah to Yeshua the Messiah of the Jews; to Jesus the Christ of the nations! Hallelujah to our glorious King. Hallelujah! Christ has come!

Life application: Never stop telling others about the Lord Jesus. He is the one and only way to be reconciled to God the Father. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.

Heavenly Father, today we celebrate the moment You came and united with human flesh in order to save us from our sins. We thank You and we praise You for the marvel, the splendor, and the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ – fully God and fully Man. He can stretch His infinite arm out to You for us, and He can stretch His finite arm out to us for You. And thus, through Him, the path to eternal righteousness is restored. Hallelujah to Yeshua the Messiah of the Jews; to Jesus the Christ of the nations! Hallelujah to our glorious King. Hallelujah! Christ has come! Hallelujah and Amen!



Luke 1:35


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Luke 1:35

There is a common thread and idea in the Old Testament which is found noted both explicitly and implicitly. It is that One would come to restore what Adam lost. The first hint of this coming One is in Genesis 3:15 –

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

After this, countless references appear which point to Him. Right after their expulsion from the garden, children are born. From these, a single line is highlighted. Again and again, individuals are named and the stories of their lives are given to show God’s superintending hand of care upon the process of ushering in the promised Redeemer.

Abraham was called and eventually he was given the sign of circumcision. That sign was given to identify a select group whom God would use and through whom would come the promise. But even the sign itself is a picture of the coming Messiah. The Bible shows us that sin came through Adam. It then travels through the male to his offspring. As every human has both a father and a mother, every human receives Adam’s fallen nature. Circumcision pictures the cutting away of that fallen nature by cutting the male organ through which sin is transmitted. But it was only a picture; the sin still comes through the father to the child. This is evidenced in the record of those born within the covenant community.

The covenant people continued on, generation after generation. And within their group prophets continued to proclaim the coming One. Hints concerning His birthplace, His ministry, and even His nature are given. Every word of their Scriptures drips with allusions to His coming. But the prophets stopped speaking and a time of quiet came. Approximately 430 years went by and then unexpectedly, a man named Zechariah was given the promise of a son who would go before the Lord to proclaim Him to the people.

Shortly after that, the angel Gabriel appeared to a young Jewish virgin named Mary. He spoke these words to her –

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.”

Her response was natural, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And his answer forms the verse we are looking at today. Suddenly, the promises and pictures all come into focus. How could the “seed of the woman” defeat the devil? The answer is that the woman, a fallen child of Adam and bearing his sin and fallen nature like any other person, will bear the Son of God. The sign of circumcision is now understandable. Sin is pictured as being cut away in the covenant people because sin is cut away through the covenant people.

Because sin travels from father to child, and because this Child will have no human father, then no sin will be transferred to Him, despite the fallen nature of the mother. She will be the receptacle through which will come the Messiah of the world. His Father being God, He will be God. His mother being a human, He will be a human. He is the God-Man.

The Child of Christmas is coming; hope for the world is to be found in Him.

Life application: The Christmas Child was born and so we celebrate His birth once a year. But the Christmas Child is eternal, so let us celebrate His life always and forever.

Glorious God Almighty – We wrap presents, anticipate gifts, eat a lot of food, and we share in family and friends. But too often we forget that the only reason we do these things is to mark the birth of the Messiah. Lord God, open hearts and minds to the truth of this day, be exalted for the wondrous work You have accomplished, and receive our thanks and praise for the greatest Gift of all, the Child of Christmas – our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen. 

Luke 23:56 – Holy Saturday


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment. Luke 23:56

The women who traveled with Jesus, who loved Him, and who believed in Him and His ministry must have been crushed at the things which transpired. A few short days earlier, He was led into Jerusalem and hailed as a the King of Israel, but the favor of the people turned and now He was dead.

But His death wasn’t just from an angry person throwing a stone and by chance hitting His head. It was a trial, a scourging, and a crucifixion – a rejection by the very people who called Him King. It was the cruelest way to die and it was a public shame. It’s hard to even imagine what their thoughts were like. Bewilderment mixed with horror and sadness. But they followed His torn body to the tomb, noted where it was, and returned to their home to prepare spices and fragrant oils.

And being obedient Jews, they rested on the Sabbath, from sundown to sundown. They were never under the misguided notion that they were above the law or separated from it. Nor did they lose their faith in God at this time and simply walk away from Him. Rather, the record states that they remained observant to the law despite what occurred. Jesus wasn’t an usurper of the law, nor did He instruct them to be so.

The lesson from these women is one for each of us as we face our own trials, loss, and heartache. Will we curse God because of the death of a child? Will we blame God for our financial loss? Do we find fault in God because there is pain, suffering, and evil which fill the world? Or do we, despite our situation, remain faithful and obedient to the calling to which we have been called?

These women who faced the most catastrophic moment in their lives, and in a way which would crush the most hardened soldier, stood firm in their convictions, faithful to their faith, and held on to the hope which God offered to them through His word and His selection of them as His people, Israel.

Their hearts were shattered, their thoughts were clouded with grief, and their sleep surely fled them as they mourned the loss of their Lord. The future which lay ahead for them was certain to be lives filled with grief and painful memories of the beauty of a moment in time which had slipped away into the cruel past… but they remained faithful to God and to His word.

Life application: God is the Creator and we are His creatures. Naked we came from the womb and naked we shall return there. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away – Blessed be the name of the Lord, from everlasting to everlasting.

Lord, if all else is taken from me – if I lose my family, my possessions, and my health; if nothing remains of me but a broken soul, just one thing I would ask of You. Grant me, O God, the ability to praise You. Let no sickness take this from my body, let no sadness take this from my mind, let nothing restrain me from the ability to just praise You. With this, I will find the satisfaction of my soul. Amen.