Monday, December 5, 2016

manger to cross to tomb

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 Peter 1:17-19

Jesus is my perfect sacrificial lamb Whose blood ransomed me. I was bought away from sin and from sinfully futile "self-salvation" attempts by His great sacrifice. I can sing at Christmas because He died on the cross and rose again for the salvation of His people. It is true that Jesus is the reason for the season. Yet it is His redeeming sacrifice that is the reason for His incarnation in the first place. His precious blood paid the price for my sin. I must see the destiny of the cross and empty tomb as I gaze in wonder at the child in the manger.

At Christmas if I only see the shepherds bringing lambs to the manger, I miss the point. It is about the Lamb of God IN the manger... God sending His only Son in the flesh of humanity to live and die and live again, something God the Father pictured on Mount Moriah centuries before with Abraham and Isaac. That humble manger trough is filled with the precious little Lamb of God Who would take away the sin of the world. Jesus would fill not just a manger, but the world with truth. From the ridiculous, miraculous cradle at the manger He would be raised to make a tortuous, humiliating cross a brilliant symbol of God's love for humanity and then be raised from the dead so that an empty rock tomb became an arena of ultimate victory. 

By the precious blood of the spotless Lamb I am saved. And like the grateful worshippers around God's throne I sing, "Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain to receive glory and honor and dominion and power." The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world (yes... even my sin), and on Mount Calvary the Lord has provided my sacrifice. I believe and I am saved! Amen.

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