Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book—but these are written—so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing—you may have life in His name. John 20.30-31
SOME OF US HAVE GROWN UP IN THE CHURCH and can literally recite the great doctrines of faith in our sleep—and yawn through the Apostles Creed—or some have become detached or bored thinking: I’ll get back to it someday. But consider that during our lives, how fairy tales, mystery thrillers, ghost stories have so often held our attention. This Christmas, we again will hear the familiar yet shocking, strange, spellbinding story of the incarnation of the Son of God.
If you don’t think so, how callous and unfeeling we have become to God’s story! It should lead us to think and say, ‘I’m sorry Lord—that the stories men have made up stir my emotions, my awe and wonder, my admiration and joy more than your own true story—on my behalf.’
The sci-fi thrillers of our day, especially this time of the year, like Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and on and on—can they do the Lord’s eternal great good for us? Can they humble us and bring us to repentance, by showing us that thru God’s power we really are capable of God’s will—in other words, change—which we so seldom feel or remember, when we consider religion in our day-to-day existence.
When Jesus said, ‘For this I have come into the world,’ He said something as crazy and eerie as any statement in science fiction that you have ever read regarding death itself. Christ Jesus did not risk death, He embraced it. That is precisely why He came—He told us not to be served—but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.
The power of death is that aspect of our thinking that makes death fearful and uncertain. But Jesus was born to our nature in Bethlehem—to die our death in Jerusalem—so that we could be fearless in Grosse Pointe/Detroit. Fearless and free to take the risk of embracing the Lord’s work, Person and promises, including His power over death.
The power of death is the power that holds men and women in captivity through the fear and anxiety of it. It is the power to keep men and women in sin so that death comes as ahorrid thing. But if the ‘no pulse, cold, done and gone death’ is no longer a fear—we are really free! Free to take any risk under the sun for our Lord—because the biggest threat to my joy has been defeated and is gone with the wind.
I pray for a breaking forth of the Spirit of God in you and me this coming year—for the Holy Spirit to break into our thinking—and to wake us up to the reality of our Lord’s presence and will. Because one of these days, lightning is going to fill the sky from the rising of the sun to its setting, and there is going to appear in the clouds the Son of Man with His mighty angels in flaming fire, and seeing Him clearly, all will bow before Him.
And this Christmas remember that the Child of Bethlehem would eventually overcome death—He did it by dying. For our Sake He suffered and died going to the other side to open the way of us. We celebrate His birth, because of what He did to death. Not just any death—my death, your death.
Jesus took our nature in Bethlehem—to die our death in Jerusalem—that we might be fearless in Detroit!
Mark Gade—for the CtK E-newsletter