Weekly Devotional 12-16-19 The Significance
This week’s devotional is a reprint of a devotional we wrote 7 years ago, back on 12-15-2009, but because we have so many new readers since that time and because the subject never gets old, we thought to repost it. We pray that it will be as meaningful to you who are reading it for the first time as it was to those first readers, and that it will be a blessing to you who may recall it.
As I write this week’s encouragement, my thoughts seem to focus on the hustle and bustle of this time of year. Today is December 14th, and December 25th is rapidly approaching. December 25th, of course, is the time (set aside many decades ago) when the birth of Jesus Christ is recognized and celebrated. Fewer and fewer, however, truly grasp the importance of His birth. His birth in the mind of many holds very little significance. To many, He was a person of history of some importance. Some see Him as a great teacher, some as a great moral leader; however, fewer and fewer understand that in the baby Jesus, God cloaked Himself in human flesh. John 1:1-2 and verse 14 explains this about Him.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God…
14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.
John 1:3 tells us that “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything mad that was made” and from this a natural question arises: “Why would the creator of all there is, become man? Why would Holy God become man?” The short answer is: “So that He could die.” Someone might ask, “What sense is there in that?” Well, consider: “14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:14-19). Man, represented in Adam fell from the innocent state in which he had been created and, in that fall, was separated from Holy God (Genesis 2:16—17; 3:1-19; Romans 5:12-).
Verse 14 of the above passage (John 3) tells us that the Son of man, Jesus, must be lifted up as had the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9). In the Numbers account, Israel, in their wilderness wanderings, murmured against God, and He sent a plague of poisonous serpents in judgment against them. The only way they could be delivered from the effects of the poisonous bite was to look upon a fiery serpent placed on a pole erected by Moses. Jesus, in like fashion was to be placed on a pole for the salvation of those who would look upon Him for their salvation.
So, dear reader, there is much more to Jesus than just a babe being born in a manger. Man, apart from Jesus’ sacrifice, is lost, separated from Holy God. There is nothing that man can do to satisfy the justice of God. He has decreed that only Jesus, God the Son, could provide the atonement for man’s sin. The apostle Peter speaking to a gathering of the Jews in Jerusalem, said about Him: “Neither is there salvation other in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
And the writer of Hebrews was led to write: “1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. 8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:1-10).
The birth of Jesus, therefore, has much more
significance than just another baby being born into the world. In that manger
laid the salvation of those who would come to faith in Him.
The proof, by the way, that God accepted His sacrifice, is in the fact of His resurrection from the dead. So, this Christmas, think upon Him, who is your only salvation.
Transforming power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man