Advent 24 (2013): LOVE Showed Up as Savior

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

It’s Christmas Eve and our series on Emmanuel: When LOVE Showed Up In-Person will be concluding.  In our passage for today, the Gospel writer John summarizes what he’s been saying about the reason Jesus came: to save the world!

Picture an entire pool of humanity under the cloud of sin since the Fall of Man.  That whole group has been under the “you-will-surely-die” condemnation and has been awaiting God’s eventual and inevitable wrath.  Each and every man, woman, and child has inherited a death sentence. We are all terminal since the day we were conceived.  It’s a gloomy picture of darkness, punishment, and death.

But then God does something miraculous! 

LOVE showed up as our Savior. 

The Father sends Jesus—the Word made flesh—to come into the world,

not to add further condemnation upon an entire people as a judge and a punisher. 

No, He comes in love and grace to make salvation possible. 

Of course, not everyone will believe in His Name, or take His offer of grace as the free gift it is, or agree to being pulled up to eternal life out of the death spiral.  But some will.  The Light of Christ draws those who want to see more LOVE, more grace, and more Light to be found in Him.  He draws us out of the gloomy despair of human life.  The Light shows us the way to salvation even though some will reject it.

To those who are sick  and tired of hearing (as from Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty, for example) how the Bible condemns this group or that group and consigns them to hell, the truth is we were all destined for hell had Jesus not come to save us.

The question is not “Who is under the threat of condemnation?” 

The answer to that is question is “All of us.”

The question becomes “Who among us can be saved?”  The answer to that one is the one who believes in Jesus’ Name, obeys Jesus’ teachings, and steps into the light to live in the truth.

As you light candles at church tonight to sing Silent Night, think about Jesus’ being the Light of the World and how for the briefest moment, the aperture of the invisible opened…and we beheld the glory of the One and Only whose mission it was to save us.  What will be your response?


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 24, 2013

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