Christmas 2019: Behold My Son, in Whom I am well pleased, part 3.
Sunday December 29, 2019
God so loved the world that He became a part of it.
Christianity is the presence of God in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
What had never before entered the imagination of man, assumed flesh and blood, who solved the deepest problems of our existence through His life and work.
Life, as Christ showed us, was active, joyous, and everlasting in fellowship with God as Father.
When we look at Christ’s entrance into the world, He wasn’t occupied with pleasing people. He was occupied with the truth.
To be a totalitarian, he [Orwell] knew from his contemporary totalitarians, you had to seize control of truth itself. You had to redefine truth as "whatever we say it is." You had to falsify memories and photos and rewrite documents.[web article by Chris Taylor]
O Lord, do not Thine eyes look for truth?
Thou hast smitten them [Jerusalem],
But they did not weaken;
Thou hast consumed them,
But they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
They have refused to repent.
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."
Joh 18:38 Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.
Summary of world conditions (very brief) at the time of Christ’s birth.
Israel had lost the spiritual core of the law and the prophets. They put a shell or a fence around the Law. The people were aching for substance when all they had was rituals and procedures for day-to-day living. Israel also lost the deep spiritual truths of the conflict between good and evil (big picture). This is a loss of the transcendent battle that wages on in spite of people’s individual lives. The Pharisees and Sadducees had turned the Law into a day by day task, which a part of it is, but that is not all it is.
The Law and the prophets and the writings revealed a world-wide war and an ultimate victory by God through a suffering Servant.
The Jews indeed saw the victorious Servant as the Messiah, but they interpreted the passages concerning the suffering Servant as referring to the nation of Israel. This was a mistake because it ignores the means by which God would achieve victory. Not to mention, the nation wasn’t supposed to suffer, but to be prosperous. Even the disciples didn’t understand this after being taught it by Jesus for years. They wouldn’t understand until after His resurrection.
Morality is a day to day battle within every man. The battle of Christ against darkness is bigger than this and doesn’t depend upon it.
Focusing on ourselves and our day-to-day lives without understanding of the big picture of the invisible war, the angelic conflict, we will find our lives mundane, boring, and meaningless.
We must not lose focus on our day to day struggle, but we must always see it in light of the invisible war that rages in the universe that doesn’t depend upon our lives.
Some lose the focus of one or the other, to the detriment of their lives. Losing the big picture, life and all its details becomes mundane. Thinking only of the big picture, we don’t do anything.
Morality or ethics are a day to day battle that wages within every man. The believer knows this more than anyone, and if he is in the know, he understands that God has fully blessed and empowered him, by grace alone, for complete victory in that battle - every day. This is a part of the story of every person because what it does not include is God’s works in the world that defeat His enemies. Let me clarify. Our daily lives can enjoy the benefits of God’s victory, but they do not contribute to it.