Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Joy to the World" The Lord DID Come!

I have a friend who has a friend who is dying. She prayed to be healed, but instead, the Lord gave her a vision of a small, shallow, babbling brook and told her, "Dying is easier than crossing that stream." I can't shake the beauty and comfort of that thought.

When my Uncle Ned was dying, his son Bob asked him what it felt like to know he was going to die. He said he felt like a little boy getting on a bus that would take him to his grandmother's house. He had to ride the bus by himself, and that was a bit scary, but he knew that when he arrived at his destination, he would be sitting in his grandmother's kitchen eating chocolate chip cookies, and she made the best chocolate chip cookies in the world!

One of the greatest gifts the Lord gave me was an easy death for Jordan. Rather than eventually suffocating from the effects of bronciolitis obliterans, he simply never woke up after emergency surgery and instead of seeing our faces, he saw the Lord's!

It might seem odd to be writing about death on Christmas Eve, when most of us are preparing to celebrate a very significant birth. But unlike the rest of us who are born, that birth was all about a death. And that death would not be easy. It would be bloody and agonizing. It would be vile and painful--and it would be for all of us.

It would, for the first time in all eternity past and all eternity future, rip the Godhead apart and stagger the universe in an unprecedented display of atoning grace.

But that death would not be permanent. The power of God Himself would raise His Son Jesus from its cold grip and in that triumphant victory, overcome our final enemy on our behalf. At last, salvation had come to mankind!

At Christmas we celebrate the most significant of births. At Easter, we celebrate Christ's glorious resurrection. In between those two events are His life and His death. And for me, none of it can be separated. For without His birth, there would no substitutionary Life, and without His death there would be no resurrection.

I pray the significance of all that God has done on your behalf would resonate in your soul this Christmas and manifest itself in heart-felt worship to the King.