Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christian Mythology: 22. Sin – Myth: Christians are free from the power and penalty of sin

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) Thus begins the story of the incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He came to earth as one of us but He lacked one thing. The absence of a sin nature (and by extension, the commission of any sin) set Him apart from the rest of us. Imagine what a unique person Jesus was while growing up. No rebellion. No selfish crying, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" Instead, He Who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

That is why Jesus came. That is why God sent Him. This is our atonement, our redemption. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and embellished the meaning of Isaiah's prophecy. "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

The war over Christmas really wearies me. Keep Christ in Christmas. No more X-mas. Jesus is the reason for the season.

No. Jesus is the reason we are free from sin. While there is great cause to rejoice in this reality, it just seems like the focus is all wrong this time of year. Consider Hebrews 10:12, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." Jesus' death happened once. His atonement happened once. His blood redemption happened once. Likewise His birth happened once. None of these things happen annually. There is no more sacrifice for sin. There is no second savior on the way.

We would do well to brood on the blood remembering in the way God commands in I Corinthians 11. We would do well to increase the frequency of our obedience here and greatly decrease our debates about the meaning of Christmas. The birth of Jesus was a one-time historical event which ushered in the very turning upside down of our world. We cannot deny the significance of the event. But its very meaning, God's purpose, was all about sin. We see very little of that today in our celebrations. We tend to emphasize the giving.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.... Our Father gave Jesus in this way "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin," The incarnation of Jesus Christ is about nothing more than His certain death. This should bring us to tears. Instead the world flips the switch and exchanges the light of a pagan tree for the Light of the world.

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