The Incarnation (Advent 2012 – Day 12)

JesusAndSparrows

Todays’ Scripture reads:

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

—Hebrews 2:14–15

To day we take a little time to reflect on the incarnation of Christ, and what that means for us. Christ was fully God and fully man at the same time, in what is surely one of the greatest mysteries to human understanding since the concept of the Trinity. God came down in human likeness to be what we could not be. What separates man from God is that God is ultimately perfect and holy, we are not. We do some good, but if I ever encountered a man who thought he never did evil I’d think him delusional or a liar. We are a mixed bag of goodness and darkness, and the fact that we have any darkness in us (regardless of how big or small) makes us unworthy of being with a perfect God. Our very best, the things we see as righteous, pure, and worthy of honor, are but filthy rags before the Lord.

So how can we be reconciled? The answer came in the Christ event that we celebrate this Christmas season. We fail the standard, but Christ was willing to take the sins of the world upon himself on the cross for us. It is said that we are washed clean and our sins are not held against us because the price for our sin (which was death) has been paid for by the blood of Christ Jesus. Christ became a man and was tempted just as we are, and yet he never gave in to the sinful impulses we so often do. He was truly righteous and blameless, and yet choose to die for us. He chose to take the punishment we deserved so that we could be with him and the power of death would hold no sting.

We live in a world where sin and death have been defeated and victory is within the grasp of anyone who will merely reach out and take it. All the work was done for us, and the only response is gratefulness. We worship a God who truly is Love. We can never celebrate enough for what Christ has done for us. Today let us reflect on that and live in the new life made available through Christ.

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