But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
—Isaiah 53:5-6 (NIV)
Christmas is a time of joyous celebration. But how often, when we celebrate His birth, do we dwell on the reason He was born? If we did, perhaps the gift of His life would impact us more. God became personal when Jesus came into the world. God, who was not human, became human for us. He, who was born an innocent child, knew no sin. He came into the world to take our sin upon himself so that we might have abundant life now and eternal life forever.
The gift of His life at Calvary is what offers us a personal God, but it is our “yes” to His grace at work within us that gives a deep personal relationship with Him. His grace is the only thing that really makes God personal. He, who was blameless and without sin, took our sin so we could be free from sin's control. God placed upon Jesus Christ all of our sins, and Jesus took them to the cross for you and for me. You can't get much more personal than that. He unconditionally surrendered himself for mankind. He gave his life so we might be healed and made whole. Such love calls for a response. We can't ignore such an offering of unconditional love. We either accept it or reject it. If we allow it and surrender to Him, we discover the incredible depth of His grace. If we reject it, we turn from the greatest love ever offered.
Do we allow Him just a little of ourselves, and reserve our total commitment? We want to approach Him. We want to come boldly before Him in our time of need, but we have things we don’t want to surrender. Perhaps we want to hold on to a gift or even a calling, but He asks us to lay everything down for His sake—just as He laid everything down for ours. Sometimes we must momentarily give up a gift or a calling or whatever is important to understand that those things are not necessary. He is what is essential. When He is first, then our gifts and calling are fired by His grace, and not by our pride.
He was pierced and crushed for our sins. His punishment brings us peace. By His loving grace, we are healed. If we say “yes” to Him and place Him above everything else, we discover this personal God who loves unconditionally and without hesitation. We find a personal God beyond human imagination. When we know in our hearts that this innocent child was born just to save us, Christmas becomes more real than ever before. None of us need ever be lonely again. This was the greatest and will always be the greatest love story ever told.
© 2018 Lynn Lacher
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