The End of Silent Nights
God’s promise of redemption came in the midst of a sinful, self induced free fall into oppression.
The people of God questioned His wisdom, which led them to question His goodness, which led them to question His presence, which led them to turn away, which led them into captivity. That’s the theme on repeat in the Old Testament.
The prophesies that anticipated that first Christmas carry a heavy tone. If what the world needs is deliverance from sin and injustice, then the world needs a perfect judge who will execute pure and perfect justice … which presents us with a problem. Standing next to a pure and just standard, all of us would be found guilty.
Unless a sinless Saviour came, there would be no way for God to end sin and injustice – without ending us.
The solution to our human condition is precisely why the word “gospel” means “good news”. The babe in the manger came to be our King on a cross because the cross was God’s way of putting an end to all our sin without having to put an end to us. The cross is where perfect justice and perfect mercy intersect.
Our Judge became our Justifier.
God diagnosed us as hopeless without Him, so He delivered us from hopelessness by the grace of Christ, uniting us to Him.
Christmas carries eternal significance and force that goes far beyond being a season of warm fuzzies. That first Christmas is a stark reminder that God reaches toward us with His hope in the nightmare that is hopelessness. Until we are willing to confess our hopelessness without Him, we will live life as struggling curators of hope, turning from one insufficient mini messiah to the next.
Isaiah 59 describes the soul without God as “groping for the wall like the blind”. Without Him, we’re all hope addicts, groping for the wall, looking for stability – something we can lean our lives on. In search of our next hope-fix, we’re always on the lookout to cling to something in the hopes that it will fill our soul’s God sized chasm.
The children of Israel were at their absolute worst when God gave them the promise of His rescuing, empowering grace in Christ. When you are at your absolute worst, God reminds you of His promise of rescuing, empowering grace in Christ.
Between the last book in the Old Testament & first book in the New Testament, there were 400 years of silent nights. God didn’t speak. When the Christ child took His first breath – that was God breaking His silence.
Emmanuel: God with you.
The voice that spun the universe into existence and thundered on mount Sinai, cried in a manger and eventually, cried out on a Roman Cross. Our hope has come.
Listen to KW Redeemer’s Advent Christmas Series here.