Week 4 Introduction — The Joy

The first three weeks of advent — the Prophecies, the Hope, and the Journey — have all been a building up to this final week and to our Savior’s Birth. Oh, the Joy that a newborn baby brings! Promises fulfilled, Hope realized, and Journey completed. But just as this Journey to Bethlehem comes to an end, a new journey is beginning.

For this child of promise, Jesus, was born in Bethlehem and on Christmas Day we celebrate His arrival on planet earth. But we also look beyond His birth, for He grew as a child into a man who would bring healing to so many. He spoke words, not of His own but, from His Father God who had sent Him to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Atonement means payment or reparation…it’s what we would pay someone if we caused an automobile accident. If we caused the accident, we would have to “make it right” or atone for the loss that we caused.

Sin is anything that we do, or fail to do, that violates God’s teachings or His commands. These teachings or commands are not meant to be burdensome or harsh, but rather for our good and so that we might remain in right relationship with Him as our Holy Father. When we sin, it violates our relationship with God and we must “make it right” by confessing our sin, turning away from our sin, and turning back to our Father, asking Him to forgive us and restore us to right relationship. In the Old Testament, the system of worship involving sacrifice (the killing of animals) was a visible reminder of how sin violates relationship…when we sin, something dies.

But God Himself, would put an end to this endless cycle of death. He would do for us what we could not do for ourselves. He would pay the penalty for ALL our sins by one sacrifice for ALL time and for ALL people. Jesus launched off on a new journey when He was born into this world on Christmas Day. The Joy that came at His arrival would pale in comparison with the Joy that we now have because He finished the work of salvation for ALL people with His death on the cross. And the sadness that His followers would feel at the loss of their Lord and friend, would be replaced with an even greater Joy when He rose from the grave, and defeated sin, death, and hell for ALL time!

Are you ready for that kind of Joy in your life? Perhaps now is the time to recognize what God has done in sending the gift of Jesus as a sacrifice for your sin. This Christmas, how about opening the greatest gift ever given…new life, eternal life, and forever Joy as you are completely restored to God as your Father in Heaven. It is our prayer that today will be the day of salvation for you. That today you will simply accept this great gift of salvation and walk in a new life with God. Place your faith in Jesus as Lord and walk as He walked for a new and eternal Joy forevermore!

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