In Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. In other words, we see what a human really is. We see someone who perfectly reflects the image of God. We see love in all its purity. We see compassion in all its mercy. We see justice and righteousness for the hurting and poor, and we see commitment to God’s glory.
It is not just that a great prophet died. Jesus was the one many believed to be the promised Messiah. Yet they murdered him! Was there no end to the injustices and the suffering of the world? But He died, and God remained silent. Until the third day!
As much as I love the Christmas season with all the carols and lights and family time and exchanging of gifts, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and His victory over sin and death is our greatest season and our greatest reason to rejoice.
Christ has called us into a new community where we worship God equally. And as members of one another we are to live our faith in a way that marks us off from the world of darkness and paganism.
Let me ask you a question today – what is at the center of your life? Is Jesus Christ at the center? If he is not, then you are placing something from the created world at the center of your life.
We have three solid underpinnings for the Christian life – and the third one is – doing it all in community. We cannot live this life alone.
Christ is renewing us so that we will let go of the practices of darkness. God has delivered us from our solidarity with the old man, Adam and brought us into solidarity with the new man, Jesus Christ, and he tells us that the Holy Spirit is renewing us at the very deepest core of our identity.
Christ is the substance of our message. Christ is the speaker of the message. Christ is the beginning and the end, the all in all, the totality of everything.
In our day, we are plagued with many false gospels such as – “receive Christ and you’ll have all your problems solved.” Well, yes, eventually all our problems will be solved, but coming to Christ does not mean all your problems are solved at once.
Recently a pop star who was famous in the 1980s died. He had wealth. He had fame. He had pleasure. His last words on earth were, “So much wasted time!”
This prince is the father of lies. This prince is the lord of deception. This prince is the ruler of the power of the air and we must defeat him!
When God exalted Jesus, He bestowed something upon Him – a name. The name is above every other name and will one day cause every knee to bow. What is the name? The name is a title, and the title is Lord!
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.”Can it be any bleaker? Can Paul express it with any greater clarity? We were not just sick, we were dead in our trespasses and sins.
People were alienated from God and the people of God. They were cut off from the Messiah, from the covenants of promise, and from hope. But friends … that is not the end of the story for the very next words begin with that great word of divine intervention – But – this is the way the world was, but God intervened.
“You cannot sin as much as God can forgive. If it comes to a pitched battle between sin and grace, you shall not be as bad as God is good. We can only sin as a man, but God can forgive as a God.”