Saturday, December 05, 2009

Christmas Reflections...Redemption…God’s Divine Plan




“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.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  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.”

How does one begin to fully comprehend all that the angel Gabriel prophesied about what God would do through Mary and the birth of Jesus Christ?  Even though this is the essence of Christmas, the very reason we celebrate the birth of Christ, it’s more than a little daunting.  

When the angel tells Mary about the Son that she will bear starting with His name Jesus and through each of His titles, we learn about who He is and the work that He came to do to fulfill the Father’s plan.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” – Luke 1:31

A virgin will bring forth a Son.  Mary herself confirms that she was a virgin when she asks, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”  This Son is not the seed of sinful man, but instead He is the Son of God.  He was born of a virgin and thus did not have our sin nature.

Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, meaning “Jehovah is salvation”.  Even His name tells of the work that Jesus came down to earth to do.  He was sent by God the Father, to save His people from their sin.  How would He accomplish that salvation?  How does a holy, righteous and just God forgive sinful man?  He does it by sending His only begotten Son, the sinless Lamb of God, to die in our place so that His righteousness can be applied to our account…and our sin debt will be paid in full. 

Sinful man cannot save himself.  He may die and even be cast into hell for eternity, but that will never pay his sin debt in full.  Man will never be declared righteous based on his works.

It was only when the blood of Christ is applied to our sin debt that we are washed white as snow.  Have you received Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to cover your sins?  Have you been clothed by the righteousness of Christ? 

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." – Acts 4:12

When Gabriel tells us that Jesus will be great, he’s not referring to what He will do, but instead it speaks about who He is.  He is grace, truth, mercy, holy, righteous, sovereign, omniscient and omnipotent.  These adjectives are more than just a description about what Jesus is like or what He does…they are the very essence of who He is.   He is great in power, authority and majesty…He is preeminent over all.

Son of the Highest speaks of Jesus divine nature.  He is Son of the Most High God.  Jehovah was called, El Elyon…the Most High God.  This speaks of God’s sovereignty, majesty and His highest preeminence over all.  Jesus tells us that He is one with the Father, if we have seen Him, we have seen the Father. 

“….and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  - Luke 1:32 (b)-33

When Gabriel prophesied that God will give Jesus the throne of His father David, he speaks of the fulfillment of God’s promise to David that One will come who will reign on his throne forever.  That His kingdom will never end tells about Jesus eternal sovereign reign over Israel and His kingdom. 

“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” – 2 Samuel 7:12-13

How does the Son of God who will lay down His life and pay the penalty for our sin reign forever?  How can someone who is dead reign?  He can only do that if He is resurrected from the dead.  Resurrection that gives evidence that God the Father accepted Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. 

What are you celebrating this Christmas?  Are parties and family gatherings a part of your Christmas season?  Are your days filled with shopping, decorating and baking?  Do you make Christmas magical for your children with Santa?

More importantly…do you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, God come in the flesh…the very reason we have a holiday called Christmas?  If not…why not receive the best gift ever…the gift of Jesus, the Son of God, wrapped in the flesh of a newborn Babe.


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