Knowing who we are, our identity In Christ, truly frees us! Seeing the value He places on our lives frees us to love, forgive, let others off the hook when they mess up. It gives us power to stay strong in the face of betrayal or hurt!
How? The God and Creator of all living things loved us and wanted relationship with us enough to come in human form as a baby. He grew up experiencing all we ever would and because He knew His worth and purpose, He withstood all kinds of accusation, abuse and betrayal without defending Himself or Fighting back.
Consider some of Jesus’ sufferings…
- His family called Him out of His mind.
- One of those closest to Him also betrayed Him.
- Religious leaders marveled at His wisdom yet tried to trick Him.
- Those same leaders plotted against Him and planned His demise.
- The disciples often doubted Him either in word or deed.
- He was beaten beyond recognition, to the point of not looking human.
- Forced to carry the cross; yet another weapon of torture and death.
- Finally, placed upon that cross to slowly suffocate to death, having to lift Himself up just to catch a breath, causing great pain as He did so!
Some considered it weakness when Jesus did not fight back, defend Himself or call upon His Father’s help; but consider the strength it took. Jesus was secure in His true identity, His purpose and the power He had; yet despite the world’s treatment, in His last few words He could show Grace and say, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Oh, what mercy and grace!!
This is God’s tremendous love for you and me. This is where we find our true identity and He labeled us priceless when God’s Son, His one and only Son, came and limited Himself in human flesh born in a humble setting. Then some thirty odd years later the King of Kings submitted Himself to abuse, false accusation, betrayal, brutality and ultimately death as a sacrifice for every sin ever committed; all for us to be able to have a relationship with the living God. At Christmas we celebrate His coming and because His story doesn’t end here we have great hope and victory over not only sin but also over death! Christmas celebrates Jesus coming; Easter, the fact that death was overcome at His resurrection! For now He is seated by God, at our Father’s right hand ever interceding on our behalf!
This my friend is true love! This is our identity, our value to God and this is Grace! Jesus took all these sufferings and those cruel spikes for us. That’s the Gospel and that is true love displayed! May we have the grace and courage to love like our Savior loved even when it involves some suffering or pain!
Grace and peace to you as we celebrate the Advent of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord!!