What Child is This? Our Substitute! – Week of December 27, 2021
In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
It was the very first day of preschool and our very first recess of the school year. The 3-yr-old tripped on the wood chips and fell. Although she didn’t have a scratch or any injury to be found, she gave an impressive wail with overreactive sobs and flailing of limbs. Seconds later, her 4-year-old classmate swooped in and shouted, “It’s ok! It’s ok! I’m a doctor, everyone stand back!” The theatrical damsel in distress stopped crying immediately when I turned to him and said “Is she going to make it, doc?”
Throughout the Bible, we see examples of Jesus being “the Great Physician”. He healed the sick and made the blind man see. He cured a paralyzed man and countless others that could not be healed by earthly medicines and procedures. But “fixing people” on the outside was not why he came to earth. God becoming a human was not an accident. The purpose of God becoming man wasn’t to heal the sick (although he did!) or to set an example of how we should live (although he did that, too!).
Jesus’ goal, mission, and purpose was to come to the earth to make us ready for heaven. Jesus’ mission was to prepare salvation, which is a fancy word for “deliverance from our sin”. We were born with sin and in desperate need of a doctor to give us the antidote. Jesus is the only one that can heal us from this sickness that not only plagues us on this earth but also means we would spend eternity separated from God in hell.
But Jesus removed our sin forever when he died on the cross on Good Friday and came back to life on Easter. By his suffering, we are made perfect in God’s eyes. Jesus suffered and died as our substitute and through his underserved love we are given the gift of heaven. We have become his “sons and daughters”. We are now welcome into his family and will enjoy the riches of heaven.
When we reflect on this Christmas season, let us stand in awe at the baby that humbly came into this world, the only doctor that could give everyone the true saving medicine: freedom from sin. What child is this? This child is our substitute! This child is our Savior, who gives us true peace, the child that earned us a place in God’s family and our home in heaven.
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Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!