Christmas In Four Words

‘But when the time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that they might receive the full rights as sons.’           Galatians 4v4-5

Intervention                                                                                                                      ‘When the time had fully come, God sent his Son…’

God looked down on the world, he saw the mess, the brokenness, the suffering and the pain. He saw how rebellious and disobedient people had become. Like a spoilt child on Christmas morning we have taken all God’s good gifts and have broken and destroyed them and then expected more. God saw that we were utterly weak and helpless and unable to change our situation. So without invitation, without consultation, God intervened. He took the initiative and did something about it. He could no longer sit back and let people and the world destroy itself. When the time had fully come God sent his Son.

Incarnation                                                                                                                        ‘…God sent his Son, born of a woman…’

It simply means that God became a man. While he was still God he was born into the world just like you and me and experienced the full range of emotions and feelings that you and I have. If God was going to help us he had to become like one of us. The creator of the world, who has no beginning or no end. The sustainer and provider of all life, who depends on no one and who needs nothing. The ruler of the universe, who is all powerful and all controlling – was born into this world. God came near and experienced the world, first hand, in all it’s mess, suffering and pain. He loved us so much that he moved in with us. Not only so he can know us but that we can know him – personally and intimately. We are reminded of this each Christmas through the name given to Jesus – Immanuel God with us. God sent his Son, born of a woman.

Identification                                                                                                                                    ‘…born under law to redeem those under law…’

To redeem is to buy back. It means to intervene into the life of someone who is utterly helpless and give them a life that they could not achieve on their own.                                 ‘Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written:Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ (Galatians 3v13)                                          God became like one of us so that he might identify with us. His identification was so great that he not only became like us he took the place of us. He came ultimately to take on himself the punishment that the law demands for our sin. Jesus did not stay in a crib he went to a cross and became a curse for us. On the cross he died for you and for me. He redeemed us, he rescued us, he gave his life for our sin so that we might have his life. Born under the law to redeem those under law.

Inclusion                                                                                                                               ‘…to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.’

This brings us to the climax, the purpose and reason of Jesus coming for us. So that we can be adopted into his family. No longer are we outsiders, excluded and rejected we are included into his family. We have been given the full rights as ‘sons’. A son has access to his Father. That means God is no longer to be feared he is our loving father. It means we are his valued and treasured possession and he now treats us as his own Son, Jesus Christ. But there is more. Sons are heirs of all that belong to their Father. So in the same way we will inherit all that God has for us – an eternal Kingdom ruled by justice and peace. As his children we will share in his eternal home.

Happy Christmas!

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