I wonder what it was like. . .
Was there hope?
Were the people expectantly waiting?
Were they afraid?
Had they given up hope?
Did they cling to the traditions of the past?
Did they seek to do what was right in their own eyes?
Did they teach their children the law of Moses?
Did they turn to idols?
Four hundred years. That’s a long time for God to be quiet. Was sin rampant in the land? Had they forgotten about God and the promise of the Messiah? What was it like in the four hundred years between the last prophet and the birth of Jesus? With the fall of man came sin, sickness, death, broken fellowship with God, and broken identity. God had a plan, though. A plan to redeem all that was lost, and restore mankind to a right relationship with Him. A plan like no other! A plan much better than fig leaves and animal skins to cover our sin. A plan much better than the sacrifices of animals to atone for sins. His plan was huge -- a tiny baby boy. As we celebrate this season of Jesus’ birth, let’s celebrate the great gifts that come with this birth.
I Peter 1:3 (KJV) says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Because of this baby boy, we don’t have to fear being eternally separated by God. We have hope. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV) says, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Because of this baby boy, we are not rejected, abandoned, or eternally condemned. We are chosen. We have received mercy. We belong to God. Our identity is restored! Galatians 3:13-14 (KJV) says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Because of this baby boy, we no longer live under the curse of the law. We are redeemed, and we are blessed. It has been said that a baby changes everything, and this was certainly true with the birth of Jesus. Jesus changed everything -- including us! We are no longer slaves to sin and death. We no longer walk according to the flesh. Because of Jesus, we are new creatures in Christ. The old has passed away, and we have been made new. We are no longer bound by sin, and we should no longer be walking according to the flesh. Ephesians 4:24 (KJV) says, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Since Jesus changed us, we should look different. We are no longer trapped in the sin and darkness that is associated with our broken identity. We abide in Jesus, now, and because we do, we should bear good fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Stacie is a counselor at Cord of 3. She works with the Child & Adolescent Population and she provides the clinical supervision and training here at Cord of 3. She is a doctoral candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision.