From Holiday Blood
The holidays are upon us and in the midst of carols, cookies, lights and gifts it can be easy to lose sight of the wonderful reason we celebrate this season.
The Promise Foretold
Jesus’ birth, foretold hundreds of years before his arrival, was the fulfillment of a promise spoken to the Jewish people who were awaiting freedom from an oppressive government. But the world got more than they ever hoped for. Jesus came, not to bring peace between people, but rather to bring a much more significant peace: peace between God and humanity. Follow this amazing story as it unfolds before your eyes.
God With Us
Jesus’ birth was no secret. As a nation eagerly awaited their savior, they looked for a conquering king. Little did they expect a child in a manger, born in obscurity to a teenage virgin. Though armies of angels announced his coming and the stars aligned to point the way, the only ones present to greet this child’s arrival were lowly shepherds, and wise men who had traveled from a distant land. Most people couldn’t believe that he would come like this. But through this child, the cries of a people for a savior were answered. This was God’s only son, Jesus. Immanuel. God with us.
Love, Peace, Hope
As with his birth, much of his life was lived in a similar way. Simple obscurity. He was a humble carpenter who loved people, and obeyed God. Moving quietly among his friends and neighbors, he lived up to the names by which he would one day be called—Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace. Jesus’ life was marked by love, forgiveness, compassion and miracles. He consistently loved the unlovely, comforted the brokenhearted and brought hope to the helpless. And his message was simple: Love God with all your heart, and love others as much as you love yourself. There was no condemnation through guilt, only liberation through grace. He didn’t come to judge but to save, as the Bible says so clearly, “because God loved the world so much”.
And then, this much-anticipated savior of humanity, who taught the truth of love, grace and peace, poured out his life was killed when he was only 33 years old. But, what seemed like a horrible twist of history, had been anticipated centuries before just as his birth had been. At the hands of his own people, he willingly died in our place, taking on himself God’s full and terrible punishment of our sin. Dying a thieves’ death on a cross—he bridged the deep chasm of separation between a fallen, corrupted humanity and an everlasting Holy God—God’s gift to us was delivered through the bloodied body of His only Son so that we might be reunited with him. Generations earlier, a prophet had written about Jesus, “he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
This perfect life of Jesus produced the holiday blood. The son of God poured out his blood for you, so that you might experience true peace, true love, and true joy. His blood offers forgiveness from guilt, and removal of shame and condemnation. This holiday season, experience the real reason Jesus was born—to offer you unconditional love and forgiveness. It’s the best gift you could ever receive.