My heart was sad...
As I read the end of my post, "My gift is priceless, and one I'll remember for years to come, as well as the giver," it hit me...I didn't finish the thought.
I missed it...
If I were finishing the same post this week I might go on with something like this: In human terms, the Bible returned to me was priceless and unexpected, but the greatest gift ever given to mankind was Jesus.
He was the long awaited Messiah for the Hebrew people in biblical days, but He was the unexpected servant king, the upside down Savior of the world. He was not what they were looking for. His birth and entry into the world broke four hundred years of silence from a holy God who had never forgotten His people. His birth ushered in the missing link from the Old testament to the New, prophecy fulfilled.
God was waiting...waiting for time to reveal His plan of redemption. His own son, Jesus, would be the redeemer, the adopted son in the lineage of King David.
The shepherds were tending sheep out in the fields. Do you think they expected to see a heavenly host of angels singing about the birth of their Savior? Probably not.
If the kings of the east had expected this miraculous birth they would have left two years prior to be present for this spectacular event. They had the financial means and the power to make it happen.
Jesus was given the lowliest of births as He quietly burst into human form...a baby, meek and mild. Unexpected, even by His birth mother. But oh, how she loved Him. She accepted all that was happening to her with grace and wonder. The Bible says she pondered all these things in her heart. Luke 2:19
As He grew, He found favor with God and man.
He did the unexpected. He healed diseases, turned water into wine, and washed feet.
He spoke to multitudes, not from a palace, but a hillside by the shores of the Galilee.
He wept with those who wept and mourned with those who mourned.
He proclaimed freedom for those in bondage.
When His days on earth were coming to a close, He chose to obey His Father...to be the ultimate sacrifice. He allowed Himself to be stripped, beaten, mocked, and humiliated, then hung on a tree to atone for my sin and your sin. He finally cried, "It is finished." And He died. At thirty three years old, He accomplished what He came to earth to do.
From the manger to the cross, His work was almost complete.
But that's not the end of the story because no one expected Him to come out of the tomb after He was dead. But He did. His Father in heaven raised Him from the dead on the third day. Over five hundred people saw Him alive and it's recorded for us to read today.
And just as I missed it last week when I wrote about my gift, many people in that day missed it too! They didn't believe until Jesus was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven after forty days. Even his half brother, James, missed it until after Jesus' ascension.
Some people are still looking for a savior. We look for it in material things, people, money, power, or fame. We can even look for it in ourselves. But the only Savior who was nailed to a cross for me, has come...Emmanuel...God with us!
And so...that's why the Bible my friend returned to me is so important. It's a reminder that God has been with me in the forty years we've been apart, even when I didn't realize it, He was there.
I'm so thankful for parents who were faithful to take me to church and teach me about Jesus. Because of my foundation, I came back after wandering away from my faith. He also reminded me that just as God did not forget His people in the four hundred years between the Old and New testament in the Bible, He did not forget me either. He has given complete healing from childhood wounds this past year, and for that I'm thankful.
Don't miss Him this Christmas...
O come let us adore Him...at Christmas and every day after!
But because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did.
We are healed by the punishment He suffered, made whole by the blows He received.
All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way.
But the Lord made the punishment fall on Him, the punishment all of us deserve.
Isaiah 53:5-6 GNT
Christmas Blessings from My Little Corner,