Christmas is a wonderful and awesome time. We love the food, the smells and sipping hot chocolate or Russian tea by a warm fire. Hanging out with family and friends, attending musicals or concerts, and even the various Christmas parties, are all events we gladly participate in during this season. But probably the most notable aspect of Christmas is the giving of gifts and presents to one another.
“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51
No small miracle was performed in the tearing of so strong and thick a curtain; but it was not intended merely as a display of power—many lessons were contained in it.
Hebrews 2:9 – “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.”
“…do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19)
On the night Jesus was betrayed He gave thanks for the bread and cup representing His body and His blood. His body would be broken so that man might not exist in a broken relationship with God any longer. And His blood that was shed on the cross reveals that His entire life was poured out and expended for the benefit, and on behalf, of mankind.
“And Abram moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 12:8)
God had told Abram to get out of his country and go to the place God would show him. God’s commands rarely come with reasons, though sometimes we feel the right to demand them.
“Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.” ~ Genesis 24:63
Isaac’s evening occupation was very admirable. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities that now hold such appeal for them. We would all know more, live closer to God, and grow in grace if we were alone more often.
“For many fell, because the war was of God” ~ 1 Chronicles 5:22
Warrior, as you fight under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old, so is it now: If the war is of God, the victory is sure. The armies of God could barely muster forty-five thousand fighting men, and yet in their war with the enemy, they captured “a hundred thousand men,” “for they cried to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him.”
(This is a guest blog from Paul Tripp)
I hope that your church pulled out all the stops for a raucous celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Without this historic event, our Christian faith would be worthless. We should absolutely make Easter Sunday the biggest and best on the calendar.
But what are you going to do with Easter for the next 364 days of the year?
We have all been there. We have all struggled. We have all been tempted, and at one point or another, we have given in. Every person alive has purchased something, seen something, said something, heard something, touched something, or even ate something they shouldn’t have. We have all been tempted.
Of course, just like last year, a new year is upon us. It is a new year: A new year to grow in Christ, a new year to write on checks, and a new year for changes. Many people make New Year resolutions and while they are sometimes very good, healthy and beneficial, they often do not last more than a week or two.