Is anybody there? Does anybody care?
“There’s nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
They’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
Their tongues slick as mud slides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
Litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.”
Romans 3:10-26 from The Message
This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says ‘about others’ but ‘to us’ to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting–things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve complied this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.
God sacrified Jesus on the altar of the world to clear the world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public-to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but its ‘now’ – this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for me to live in his rightness.
Do we understand this? – Why Jesus is so important? – Why his birth is so extraordinary? – Why should we even care?
Because . . . Jesus is the “new” Adam.
The first Adam disobeyed God and was banished from God’s Kingdom and with his banishment we were all barred from admission to eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
Nothing we could do could ever change that banishment. Only God had the power to correct the course of history. So God did the unthinkable and sent his only son to die . . . as the final sacrifice . . . once for all.
The last Adam (the Alpha and the Omega), Jesus, obeyed God by accepting that he was the final sacrifice for all sin. God deemed him righteous by God’s grace. Jesus was brought back into God’s Kingdom by the Holy Spirit resurrecting Him from the dead – opening a pathway for all those who believe in Jesus to follow Him into eternal life in God’s Kingdom.
Without Jesus, there is no eternal life for human kind. Without Jesus, we only have the Law which none of us can hold up under. Without Jesus, there is no redemption which means God would continue to banish us from eternal life with Him. Without Jesus, we have no hope of conquering death and living forever with God.
So let us remember the reason for this season. Let us slow down. Let us prioritize and realize the importance or lack of importance of traditions of the past. Let us be still and rest in the gift that God has given us.
May your week be filled with the stillness of God’s peace. Amen