• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • December 2015
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV)

ShepherdsChristmasThe natural man is born into this world with an inclination to rebel against God and God’s commandments. Isaiah points out that we are like stray sheep wanting our own way. Therefore, we cannot be at peace with God because we love and worship ourselves and our desires of the moment. However, Jesus came to reconcile us with God and make peace by the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20 ESV)

As Isaiah prophesied, Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace upon whom the punishment we deserved was inflicted in order that we might have peace with God. God did this by depositing our sins upon Him. Christmas is inseparably tied to the crucifixion.

Seeing-Shepherds-ChristmasIn the Old Testament, animal sacrifices demonstrated the seriousness of sin. Leviticus 17:11 tells us, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.” Atonement was necessary for the removal of sins. Otherwise, peace with God was impossible.

Christ was born to be the sacrificial Lamb of God. Bethlehem is where the sacrificial temple sheep were kept. The shepherds in the Christmas story watched over those sheep. They were trained to know what a sacrificial sheep had to be. Those sheep symbolically represented the coming Messiah. The shepherds were the first to be informed of Jesus’ birth.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 ESV)

Christmas, therefore, should be celebrated in light of the birth and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Both were necessary for God’s plan of redemption. The perfect holiness of Christ’s life and all the good He did, could not redeem us without His death. He made the atonement for our sins and satisfied the justice of God for all time that we might have peace with God.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14 ESV)

2 Responses

  1. Merry Christmas to you! Your peace and joy posts have been encouraging this Christmas season. Thank you.


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