Although 2020, has been a memorable year for the unexpected uniqueness that has occurred. The aim of this blog post is to give hope not only for this festive period or the year ahead but a much bigger hope that was made possible following the miraculous birth of Jesus.
At this time of the year, one may ask why was the birth of Jesus so significant for the world?
From the passage above, we read that Jesus will save his people from their sins. This is a powerful verse as it means that Jesus was born for a specific purpose…to save his people from the wrongs that they had committed. The sins or the wrongs are offenses that are committed by all people, except the Lord Jesus who did not sin. These sins could have been committed in the past, present or even in the future and are against what God wants of us! Jesus, unlike us, lived a sinless life and thus we are destined to die, as it is written in Romans chapter 6, verse 23: For the wages of sin is death…
This part of the verse is daunting as it would show that there is no hope after death but there is a hope for us all, as Jesus came to save his people. The remainder of verse 23 of Romans 6 reads: …but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is an amazing hope that is free for us all and is a powerful message that is repeated in various places in the Bible, but we will mainly focus on the New Testament verses during this blog. I will share a few Bible quotes as I would like to highlight the point that God WANTS to have a relationship with us and grant us a future hope where there will be eternal life!
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…Romans 3:23-24
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.John 3:16-17
The passage from John chapter 3 above, is one of the most popular passages in the Bible as it summarises the gospel message and the good news that there is a hope of life eternal.
The Lord Jesus has been given many different titles, for example Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). However, I’d like to look at the description in John 1:29 – The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
This is a powerful description as it looks back to the Old Testament book, Exodus, and in chapter 12 the children of Israel were in captivity by the Egyptians. During this time, God brought 10 plaques on Pharaoh and Egypt as Pharaoh would not let the Israelites leave Egypt, where they were slaves. Every Israelite household was told by Moses and Aaron, who themselves had received the message from the LORD, that they were to kill a lamb without spot or blemish. They were then to take some of the blood and place it on the two doorposts and the lintel of their houses. This was a sign that the LORD would pass over the house and the inhabitants would survive.
In like manner, Jesus does the same, where like the lamb at Passover, Jesus represents the sacrifice as he was without spot or blemish as he never sinned, as well as saving the world by his sacrifice, when he was crucified. The significance of his death and resurrection, highlights the significance that there is life eternal, which is an opportunity and hope extended to everyone. The sin of the world, used in John about what Jesus would do, is to highlight that Jesus was to take the sin brought into the world from Adam and Eve in the book of Genesis when they were in the Garden of Eden. From the fall of mankind here, mankind could no longer partake of the tree of life and thus was destined to die.
The Lord Jesus gives us this opportunity to return to a time like the Garden of Eden, where it will be everlasting. We all have an opportunity as Jesus on the cross, even stated to one of the thieves who was getting crucified next to him in Luke 23:43 that he will be with him in paradise. The word paradise is translated from the Greek meaning a park in Eden, which is likened to the perfect state mankind was in prior to the fall in Genesis, where the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was eaten.
This perfect state will be when the Jesus returns and will truly be a time to look forward to as there will be no more pain or suffering but everlasting life. We read these words in Revelation 21:4 – He (God) will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
So, as we approach Christmas 2020 and the close of the year, let us try to be positive and upbeat as there are better times to come. The best time to come is when Jesus saves his people from their sins, when he will return and the Kingdom, like the paradise state from the Garden of Eden, will be established. As we await this time, the first step is that we must be a part of the people that Jesus came to save from their sins; so, we must believe and be baptised as the first step in salvation.