Thursday, December 21, 2006

Some Thoughts On Christmas

"When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He said to Himself, 'I will never again curse the ground because of man, even though man's inclination is evil from his youth....'" (Genesis 8:21).

"Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5).

"The wicked go astray from the womb; liars err from birth." (Psalm 58:3)

I thought of these verses while sitting in my parents' church at Christmas. As the preacher spoke I thought of these verses and about man. I can't help but contrast these verses and the Bible's description of man with the picture of Jesus presented in Revelation 5.

In Revelation 5, John sees a scroll with writing on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals (5:1). He soon finds out that no one can open the scroll or break its seals b/c no one is worthy. Upon realizing this he wept (5:2-4). No one was able, no one was worthy to open the scroll. There's not a person on earth nor a person in heaven who is worthy to open the scroll. As I read these words in church, I remembered the verses above and man's state. I remembered how he is wicked, how he is a liar from birth, and how his every inclination from his youth is evil. Of course no man can open the scroll. Who, then, can?

Revelation tells us:
Then one of the elders said to me, 'Stop crying. Look! The Lion from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders....He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of the One seated on the throne. When He took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb...And they sang a new

You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals;
because You
were slaughtered,
and You redeemed people for God
Your blood
from every tribe and launguage
and people and nation.
them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the
The Lamb who was slaughtered
is worthy
to receive power
and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and
Blessing and honor and glory
and dominion
to the One
seated on the
and to the Lamb, forever and ever!
The four
living creatures
said, 'Amen,' and the elders fell down and worshipped (Rev

I am in awe of the difference between Jesus Christ and me. Could there be a bigger difference? Probably not. I am the liar. I am the cheater. I am the sinner from birth. But He is the Lamb who is worthy to take the scroll. He is the One slain from the foundation of the earth to take my place in death. He is the Most Holy Son who gave up His life for me so that I may live. He is everything. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (Col 1:15). He is the beginning (Col 1:18), He is the Word, He was the Word, and He was and is with God (John 1:1,2), He is the agent of creation (John 1:3) and He carried life in Him so that man might live (John 1:4). He is the radiance of God's glory, the exact espression of God's nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:4).

As I thought of these things at Christmas, I quickly realized that no present waiting under a tree could touch this. No thing I'd placed on a Christmas list could come close to this. As I sat in a dimly lit church warm with candle light & I thought, truly thought, about the difference between Christ and myself, I was overwhelmed. The resounding thought in my mind was, "Who is man that you are mindful of him? Who am I that you are mindful of me?" The greatness and the goodness of Christ is found in the answer to this question. He is mindful of me because I am His. I have truly never been so thankful for my salvation and for my relationship with Jesus as I was this Christmas.