I've been reading through the book of Genesis…the creation of the world and mans fall into sin. I'm a nature lover and so reading those first couple chapters of how God created everything…the seas, the sky, the moon, stars and sun, the plants, the trees, the birds of the air, the animals in the sea, the beasts of the field and then man…wow. I can't imagine what it was like, life appearing, everything spoken into being. When He was all finished with His creating He said it was good, very good and God gave it to man to look after. Yet man though given this great gift, and given that perfect relationship with God was tempted and fell into sin and so began God's redemption plan…"For the wages of sin is death…" Romans 6: 23a
The LORD would make a way where the prophesy of Isaiah 1:18b would be fulfilled - "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow..."
To Abraham the LORD made a covenant saying: "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore." God's own Son Jesus would eventually come from the line of Abraham and He would come to save His people.
"...when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full right as sons." Galatians 4: 4, 5
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7: 14 And so Jesus was born, entering into humanity both into the beauty that yet remained and the depravity that strove to suffocate any beauty that was left. He was born in no rich man's house but the stench of a stable…laid in a manger. The God of glory gave it all up for you and for me, to walk among the very ones He had created, to be one of them and yet still fully God.
"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit in him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope." Matthew 12: 18 - 21
Jesus is the HOPE of the nations...our HOPE!
So Jesus walks upon this earth, He lives as one of us a baby come into this world…an ordinary boy…an ordinary man…not given any special privileges. Though He is fully God He lives His ordinary life perfectly and in perfect communion with His Father. The only One human being who was able to walk in perfect obedience with God the Father.
When Jesus is about 30 years old He begins his ministry, the purpose of His being here on earth a man, and yet God comes into full swing. He's baptized, then tempted by Satan, calls His 12 disciples and the teaching and healing begin. Jesus teaches and performs miracles for about three years and then the time for the fullness of His coming to be realized is here.
Jesus is betrayed by one of the twelve and deserted by the others, the very ones He loved and had spent the last three years with. He was put on trial and sentenced to be crucified. The very One who was sinless sent to be crucified and yet He said nothing…He did not defend Himself…He knew this was the road He must walk, it's the very reason He left the glories of heaven. The very world He spoke into being was now crying "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" This was no easy walk, it troubled Him greatly…He knew the pain and separation He would feel and yet went willingly in obedience to the Father for me and for you.
Pain sears through His body and He calls out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," and He breathes His last and He is gone. The King...the long awaited One...the Messiah...dead...gone. The hearts of those who followed and loved Him were shattered...now what? Their Master...Teacher...Friend was no more. They mourned, they grieved and I'm sure they felt lost without Him. Joseph and Nicodemus two of Jesus' secret followers ask Pilate for His body. They wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen and placed Him in a new tomb cut out of the rock. Satan thought he had won but he was mistaken, three days later Jesus rose victorious from that tomb, He had defeated death and so was set in place the fullness of God's redemptive plan...the resurrection!
This resurrected Jesus is the light of the world, Saviour to all who would accept Him and follow Him. Jesus says of Himself in John 8: 12b; "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119: 105
There is freedom in this following of Jesus; a freedom that can be had no other way because I am no longer at the mercy of what others think, what this world would say or the lies that satan would so desperately have me believe...my self worth is found in Jesus Christ my Saviour. Him in me and through me...a life transformed through His shed blood.
I think of the butterfly so amazing in it's transformation from caterpillar to a beautiful winged creature with the freedom to go places it could never go before, to soar high and free. That's what Jesus' saving, cleansing and forgiving blood does...it frees us to be what we could otherwise not be.
When trials and suffering come our way this Jesus who suffered unto death gives us the strength to then walk whatever path God would have us walk for His glory. And even though we may be broken, our wings somewhat tattered we are still able to fly freely because of God's amazing GRACE. God uses even the tattered, broken and painful places in our lives for His glory and all of it becomes a beautiful tapestry woven together by His saving GRACE.
Despite our circumstances there is GRACE for all who would receive and even in our dark moments the God of creation gives us beauty that shines through and gives us a glimpse of the wonder of who He is. Because in the beginning He spoke this creation into being and it was good...very good.
The beautiful blue of the Robin's egg.
The sparkle of dew in the morning sun.
The vibrant reds of fall, such a beautiful transformation of colour.
The flowers of spring in all their glory.
The coolness of a spring walk through the woods.
The colours of fall and seeds spilling being carried on the wind.