“Arise and shine, for your light has come.” Isaiah 60:1
I’m a little intimidated at even attempting to write on the subject of Christmas. It’s like trying to explain the goodness of God, or put into words how much He loves us and how much He has done for us ….. words just aren’t enough. But, I won’t let that discourage me! Let’s press on and see if the LORD will be as gracious to you through this as He has been to me to reveal a tiny piece of His beautiful plan!
As I sat with the LORD on the subject of Christmas, I said “Ok LORD, I need you to help me find the perfect words to explain in simple terms, what your birth really means. Help me tell why you left Heaven and all the glory You had before the world began, to become like us.” Praise the LORD! It didn’t take the days or weeks I had expected. He took me straight to Job – yeah, I know, not the book to bring warm Christmas fuzzy’s, but I fell in love!! I am praying you will be blessed as I have been.
The name Job most likely comes from a Hebrew word meaning “enemy”. When I first saw this I didn’t get it. Job 1:1 describes Job as” blameless and upright” so how could he be an enemy? The Holy Spirit did a little work on me. The problem is that even the most righteous man, without Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, is an enemy of God. Job knew this and cried out “how can a man be in the right before God?”(Job 9:2) The solution is found in the problem – sounds weird but stay with me. Job continues to state the problem “For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him, that we should come to trial together. There is no arbiter between us, who might lay hands on us both.” Let’s explore a few things. An arbiter is “a person who settles a dispute”. So what is the dispute over? According to the law we all have sin. Isaiah 64:4 says “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment”. God deeply wants a relationship with us, but He is holy and cannot be around sin. So we need someone who can put one hand on us and one hand on God and reconcile us to God. In Job 16 we get a hint of who that arbiter is. Job 16:19-21 says “my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high…my eye pours out tears to God, that he(God) would argue the case of a man with God.” Isaiah gives us more hints at who our arbiter is when he tells us He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and Immanuel, which means ‘God with us’. Job and Isaiah were telling us that the one to come to settle the case between God and man would be God himself. Our witness was in Heaven, on high; but He humbled himself and not only did He come down and plead the case against us He CLOSED the case against us. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14. This is God’s beautiful plan! A plan where Heaven and earth collide.
At it’s deepest level Job is a book about how our righteous God was stripped of everything in Heaven and came down to earth. And at the cross He, who is the righteous Son of God, took our place as an enemy of God so that we, who were enemies of God, might eternally be friends of God. What a beautiful exchange! This plan was whispered for thousands of years throughout the Law and Prophets, but one foretold night in a little town called Bethlehem, the plan became tangible. The WORD became flesh. The mighty hands that were on high took on the form of the tiniest human. And as he grasp his mother’s finger, our arbiter began the processes involved in putting one hand on man and one hand on God. Praise the name of Jesus, Yeshua (His Hebrew name that means the salvation of Yahweh)! It’s no wonder that the angels heralded his birth! Salvation has come! “Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices! Oh night divine! Oh, night when Christ was born.” Or as Isaiah says and the star the night of his birth reflected “Arise and shine for your light has come!”
Pray LRCA is led by LRCA Mom Erin Warford. Subscribe to weekly scripture/prayer here.