For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. (1 Peter 1:18-20 NLT)
Eternity & Chr1stmas – Part 2
We started this weeklong Christmas series with eternity, and today we will end with eternity. Now you may think it strange that we’re looking at a verse that has more to do with Good Friday and Easter than it does with today — Christmas. Hang on, it will make sense soon.
God paid a ransom for you, long before the world began. Talk about paying it forward! Paul gives us the reason for God paying this ransom: Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people of His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (Titus 2:14 NAS) Rather than living an empty life, our sins were paid for, we are His People and we do good deeds for the glory of God and for the benefit to those we serve.
Do you not see Christmas in that? What if the gift we give is one of good works? What if we do something kind for someone? We will never be their ransom, only Christ can be that. But perhaps they will see the One who paid their ransom in our good works at Christmas.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)
So, gift giving for Christmas? Nothing new. Of course, the greatest gift that was ever given was the very thing He paid a ransom for: eternal life.
Another characteristic Christmas is joy; and Christ’s motivation for being a ransom, even long before the world began, could very well have been joy.
Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
So, what was the joy that was awaiting him? The simple answer is found in the above verse, to be “Seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” But…there are two other causes for that joy.
The second joy would be found in His obedience to his Heavenly Father:
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:14-15, 17-18 NLT)
The third joy that was set before him was making a way for us to be with him.
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3 ESV)
Giving and joy. Two characteristics of Christmas which have been around for eternity. May they be two of your characteristics this Christmas.
Missed yesterday’s post? Read about Mary’s life changing experience.