Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Doing All Things Well

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.     Galatians 4:4-7

Dear Jesus, like others, I often criticize and sentimentalize the circumstances of your birth. Judging Jerusalem for missing “her moment”… condemning inn-keepers for gross inhospitality… and pitying Mary for having to endure such an ignoble and unsanitary birthing room. Yet everything happened in keeping with the decrees and delights of heaven. “Doing all things well” didn’t just start happening after your resurrection. From cradle to cross to crown, it’s all one big gospelicious story of sovereign grace.

Jesus, you arrived, “when the time had fully come”… not a day early, and not a day late. As humbling as it was to be born under the ceiling of a stable, being born under the weight of the law was a far greater burden. Yet that’s exactly why you came into the world—to take the full weight of God’s law upon yourself in order to redeem us… to redeem me from sin’s penalty, power and presence.

There’s no way we could’ve ever fulfilled the demands of God’s righteous and holy law. Only you could and only you did… and you did it all for us, Jesus. Your life of perfect obedience is now considered to be ours. Your death upon the cross is also considered to be ours—a death by which you exhausted the judgment we deserve for our sin. Because you lived in our place and died in our place, we’re no longer slaves, but fully-righted and much beloved children of the living God. We dance before you and delight in you, Jesus, for such over-the-top good news—for such a glorious gospel.

Abba, Father has already robed us with your righteousness and has sent his powerful Spirit to live in our hearts, and our future looks spectacular, as well. For we will co-inherit the new heaven and new earth with you, and with our whole pan-national family. O my… what is left to say but “Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation!”

If someone should ask us what we got for Christmas this year and we don’t answer, “More of the gospel!”, have mercy on us, Jesus, have mercy on us. Indeed, we won’t judge inn-keepers this Advent season, but we will rejoice in the God of our salvation. So very Amen, we pray, in your merciful and matchless name.

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