Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 24, 2012

"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." Luke 2:10
Christmas is supposed to be a season of joy. In this series of posts I am taking a closer look at this topic of joy. What is it and where does it come from?
Joy comes from God's presence. Christmas is when God came to us in the person of Christ.
Also, joy comes from God's pardon.
Jesus came to be our Savior. Savior from what? He saved us from the penalty of sin. As sinners we were spiritually dead and destined for eternal death. But Jesus, because He was without sin, took our sins upon Himself. He died for you and me.
Because He took our penalty, we can be pardoned.
It would be the equivalent of you receiving a death sentence because of a heinous crime you committed. You are arrested and tried and found guilty by a jury - because you ARE guilty. When you appear before the judge he sentences you to death and you are taken to death row. You remain there for several years until the time comes for your sentence to be carried out and you hear footsteps coming down the long hallway toward your isolated cell. Your heart quickens, a big lump develops in your throat and there is a sinking feeling in your stomach. "This is it!", you think to yourself. But, the guard opens the door and announces, "You are free to go!"
"What?", you reply.
"You are free to go. Report to the Warden and he will make sure you get your belongings."
"The Warden's son volunteered to take your death sentence. He will die tonight in you place! Since he has taken your sentence you are free!"
As the news begins to sink into your consciousness, you feel a great sense of relief and then slowly a joy arises in you as you realize you are free! You will get to grow old! You will get to see your children grow up! You will live out your days in freedom because someone's son died in your place!
That is the pardon you receive in Jesus when you put your faith in Him. And that is why Jesus came at Christmas. He came to pay the penalty for your sins so you can be pardoned!
Joy results from God's presence and joy arises from His pardon. Christmas is where it all began!