Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. - Luke 2:29-32
(A man in Jerusalem named Simeon praising God on the birth of Jesus.)
Jesus was born of a virgin, in a manger among a rural community, and to someone who led a normal life as you and I. How humble of God to identify with us as His people in a way such as this to carry out His divine plan. He did not use the most “qualified,” the most financially stable, or someone of the highest social status. He didn’t even choose the one who displayed a false idea of upholding perfection in an imperfect world. It is a true testament to God’s deep, abundant love for each and every one of us, regardless of who we are or what we have done.
That’s the beauty of God: His love is incomparable to anything else in this world.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. - Lamentations 3:22-23
As Easter approaches and we prepare to celebrate Jesus conquering death, how can we come to know Him and develop an even deeper understanding of His sacrifice on the cross?
Jesus’ resurrection was a new birth. God called Him the radiance of His glory in Hebrews 1:3. As soon as you accept Jesus into your heart, you immediately signify a new birth. You are called into the radiance of God’s glory, with the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus suffering the painful, unimaginable death on that cross and with His glorious resurrection from the dead leaving that tomb empty and people in awe.
He carried the weight of our sin and yet He could not be overcome. This is true love.
From the moment we are born, we are introduced to a world full of sin. We then choose to live our life in the midst of these actions and attitudes against God. But God is constant through it all. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Once you emerge from living in a sinful world and step into a relationship with Jesus, you are reborn into a new life of eternal joy. You will not be free of sin and you will not be able to escape hardship, but you have the power of Jesus’ Spirit in you and you have the strength of God to overcome the trials that come your way.
Just as God chose Mary and Joseph to raise Jesus, God is calling you to a deeper purpose in this life. He promises to give you a hope and an eternal future. You are a light to the nations and filled with the Holy Spirit to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
1. How has your heart been transformed as you have learned more about the way in which God chose to reach His people through the birth of Christ? What are some ways that you can identify with Jesus as He lived just as you and I, suffering earthly trials as well as experiencing joys?
2. Have you ever lost a loved one? How does Jesus’ resurrection help you cope with this loss, knowing that He conquered death, ultimately opening a newfound hope in dealing with devastating loss as well as your own death one day?
Heavenly Father, I am in absolute awe of Your love for me. That You would send Your Son to die on the cross for me and my sins and You continue to pursue me in my shortcomings still to this day. My heart is overwhelmed and my soul is free in Christ’s victory over death. Thank You, God, for Your consistent love and grace, even when I do not deserve it. I choose You, always. In Your name I pray, Amen.
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