Monday, 4 December 2017

Far As The Curse is Found

Lettering by my friend @rach_forsyth

Read: Psalm 24

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

The birth of Jesus isn’t only a story about a remarkable man who grew up and changed the world.

It is that.

But at Christmas, Christians celebrate something far more all-encompassing.

Christmas is a celebration that when Jesus was born, a redeemer was born. The LORD of glory entered a world burdened by a curse in order to redeem it.

And not just some of it.

The first man made choices that brought a curse: his sin led to death and judgment and suffering and conflict and enmity.

Every human since has made choices that have brought the same:destruction, frustration, isolation, toil, brokenness. All of nature groans under the brutal rule of humanity whose kingdom is a kingdom of death.

But Jesus is born as the new first man: he is born of a woman to redeem those born of women.

When the set time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. (Galatians 4:4&5)

As far as the curse extends, He comes to make his blessings flow. So we celebrate: a Redeemer has been born! But we also celebrate because His birth is the beginning of His redemption.

His birth says: thus far, humanity has failed.

But it also says: there is a new hope for humanity. And his name is Emmanuel: God with us. God made a man. God of God, God’s Son: Jesus.

Jesus is humanity that from his first cry to his last- on a Roman cross- loves and relies on and lives for the glory of the God of heaven, just as humanity was made to do. Jesus is humanity who brings blessing to the world, instead of a curse. Jesus is humanity who can ascend the hill of the LORD- with clean hands and a pure heart, the King of glory, mighty in the battle for righteousness from beginning to end.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us- for it is written: 'Cursed is anyone who is hanged on a tree'- so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the nations..." (Galatians 3: 13 &14)

So, whatever seeming irredeemables we are currently facing in our lives, whatever the impenetrable knots of thistles and thorns may be, whatever the crushing millstones of oppression and captivity may be, whatever seems most tightly shrouded in unbreakable darkness- that is where the Redeemer has set his sights.

He comes to make his blessings flow. Where? As far as the curse is found.

He started to redeem humanity when he became humanity: he entered the world he had founded and established and he did being human absolutely right and righteously and yet absorbed the curse to redeem us. Now he sits at the right hand of the Father: the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Righteous One.

He is the Redeemer, He has redeemed humanity, He has redeemed the curse and He is making all things new.

"And he who was seated on the throne said, ' Behold, I am making all things new.'" (Revelation 21:5)

Carol: Joy to the World

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