Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas and Deliverance

Continuing on from yesterday's post... the first metaphor I want to talk about is deliverance. At first glance deliverance and Christmas can seem far removed from each other, but there is an important connection...

1. Deliverance. In the Old Testament the children of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and brought to the Promised Land of Canaan. Their deliverance foreshadowed a greater deliverance that was accomplished when Jesus died on the cross and rescued his people from sin, death and Satan. If Jesus had not come we would have been hopelessly ensnared forever. Sin has contaminated all the children of Adam and it holds us captive. And like slaves under the control of a slave driver we do its will. Because of sin death has ruled over the human race from that fateful day when we acted in independent defiance of God. And Satan, who orchestrated our fall in the beginning, has bullied us and pushed us around all our lives. This is why the Bible uses words like “redemption” which conjure up images of a slave market, and “salvation” which implies danger and peril, when it speaks of the work of Christ. He came to redeem us from all that enslaved us (Ephesians 1:7, 14; 4:40; Colossians 1:14), and to save us from the greatest dangers imaginable including God’s holy wrath which burns hot against sin and sinners (Romans 5:9-10). The babe whose birth we celebrate at Christmas is called “Jesus” because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). And he is introduced to shepherds that first Christmas eve as a “Saviour” who is Messiah, the Lord (Luke 2:11).

To be continued...

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