FERRARI, Defendente, Nativity in Nocturnal Light, 1510
1 Peter 3:18
“18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”
Peter said these words. And He knew all too well how a zealous lover of Christ can feel when they sin. Temptations to just stay away for a while may come and overwhelming feelings of shame can put a damper on passion for our Savior.
But Peter learned and must have hung onto this truth: that when Christ died for us in order to bring us to God, He did it WHEN we were unrighteous.
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
“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” (Colossians 2:13).
We so needed a Savior didn’t we? And He knew that…that is why He helped us when He did…before we got our act cleaned up. Because we were dead in our transgressions. And if He helped us in that way then, won’t He help us now when we feel knocked down? If He died to bring us to Him, does it not sadden Him when we stay away?
Oh…what this baby that we look at now in the nativity will endure. And if we look closely we will get a sense of it. Because the nativity was not truly as clean and sweet as the Sunday School pictures showed us was it?
Perhaps it would do us good to imagine what it really would have been like to be born…or birth a child…among the animals, their smells and their dung. Surely there was much of this horridness and it was telling of the people and mission He was to serve. To not have the linens and helpers we have now in hospitals where they hand us a clean baby wrapped in clean cloths. Surely there was much blood and it was telling of how He would carry out this mission.
Like Peter…we are accepted though we waver. Let’s boldly approach the throne of grace out of respect for the babe in the manger who completed a horrific mission to bring us to God.
To do now: Meditate on the above verses. Listen to O Come O Come Emmanuel (clicking on this link will take you to the song on youtube). Journal or write a prayer about how God is working in your heart this week.
If you would like this week’s entire 5 day devotional in as a pdf, click below.