Jesus: the Redeemer (Advent 3)

The following was written for a devotional guide for CityView Church for Advent 2009…

Reading:

John 1:9-13; Isaiah 53 – specifically vv.3-4, 11-12

God tells us through John that Jesus is the light enlightens everyone.  This happened through his being incarnated into the world that he himself created.  God came into his creation in the form of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.  Yet because of the sin of humanity, the world as a whole did not recognize him as the Messiah, and the very people he came to save (Jews) did not understand who he truly is.

The One who was prophesied from Genesis 3:15 who would save the world from itself and make reconciliation with God a reality was, as Isaiah tells us, ‘despised and rejected’ and ‘a man of sorrows.’  The world he came to save thought that it could do better on its own and decided to not know him or worship him.  Isaiah 53 is my favorite description of Jesus because it shows that God endured a sinful, broken people’s rejection and sacrificed himself for them anyway.  He loved the unlovable.  He redeemed the unredeemable.

Because of God’s desire to reconcile the irreconcilable and give peace to his enemies, he willed that some would believe in him and become his children.  It wasn’t by our own efforts or because we had any inherent worth, but rather it was because God was rich in mercy and abounding in grace that he laid our chastisement on Jesus, bringing us peace.  The light of the world bore our sin on the cross in order that we would come to repent of our sin, trust him as our Savior, and be redeemed from our sinful nature to glorify God out of love and obedience.

So God has given us an immense treasure in providing Christ as our redemption.  He has dealt with our sin.  He has shown his justice and grace.  He has made us righteous for his own sake.  And for this we worship him during this precious season of remembrance.  Despite how we treated his Son, he has provided reconciliation, he has accomplished it, and we are the beneficiaries as his children.

Questions:
1.    Where do you see our culture and the world rejecting Jesus today?
2.    In what ways has Jesus enlightened your life?  How about the world?
3.    How does seeing Jesus as a ‘suffering servant’ (from Isaiah) change your perception of God’s grace?

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