Thursday, December 6, 2018

There is Hope!

Around 540 BC Cyrus had issued his edict allowing the Jews to return to their homeland, thus bringing to an end their 70 years of exile.

They had gone back in joy, looking forward to a time of restoration, a new beginning and a fresh start to their lives.

They recognized their sins had led to their captivity, and were determined never to fall into that trap again.  So in an effort to get things right, they set themselves lots of rules, to ensure their obedience to God's laws.

These rules became a burden God never intended them to carry.  The rules took the joy out of their newfound relationship with their Creator.  Rules and legalism were never how God wanted to relate to His people.  Why?

Because when there are rules, we break them.  As human beings, we live in imperfection, and we sin.

And sin is bad.  Bad for us.  Bad for the people around us.  And bad for our relationship with God.  Sin separates us from our Creator.

So even though the Jews desperately wanted to turn a new leaf, their quest was hopeless.  They just did not have it in them to stay the course.

God however had a different view of this seemingly impossible situation.

Thousands of years before, He had decided to become one of us.  In doing so, He would make it possible for mankind to once again have a relationship with Him.

By becoming one of us, He would experience what it was like to have to fight against sin, day in, day out.  He would not give in to this temptation, though.  The consequence of sin is death.  As He did not sin, He did not need to die.  He chose to die for us instead.  He would pay the price on our behalf.

This would then restore mankind's relationship with God.

He would give us hope!

So, centuries later, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, and told this precious young lady that she was going to become pregnant when the Holy Spirit came upon her.  That the child she would bear was to be the Savior of the world.  That through faith in Him, our sins could be forgiven.

Instead of living a life without hope, we now have a hope that overcomes all sin, all separation from God, all pain and hurt that follows from sin.

As Paul says, "Death where is your sting!"  We now have hope for an eternity in intimate relationship with our God.  Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for leaving heaven, and your magnificent glory, to become one of us.  Because in you is hope!  

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