Monday, December 3, 2012

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The Light at the End of the Tunnel
A Christmas Study, Part 2

Monday, December 3, 2012
Scripture Reading: Romans 5

“Do you want the good news or the bad news first?” If you're anything like me, you opt to receive the bad news first, just to get it over with. Well, way back in Genesis 3, Satan got the bad news first. He had successfully convinced Adam and Eve to sin against God, but in verse 15, God promised Satan “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This verse is the first description of what Christ would do for mankind on the cross. His heels would be bruised with the nails that held him to the cross, but Satan's control over mankind through sin and death would be crushed through Christ's sacrificial act!
Certainly, Adam and Eve needed some good news on that difficult day—a light at the end of the tunnel—as they faced the consequences of their disobedience. God told Adam he would now work exceptionally hard for the very food that he ate, and He told Eve that child-bearing would bring her pain and difficulty. Together, they faced expulsion from their beautiful home in the garden of Eden, and worse, separation from daily fellowship with God.
As if that weren't enough, they knew that the effects of their choice would extend to future generations. In today's reading, the apostle Paul describes this effect. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, . . . in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—” Here also, Paul follows the bad news with some truly good news. Verse 18 reads, “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
How appropriate. The good news of Christmas, is a free gift! It's not some corny Black Friday gimmick either, but rather, the Christ child in the manger—the fulfillment of the promise God made so long ago.
The fact that God offered mankind this hope IMMEDIATELY after their disobedience shows that He has always been more interested in loving us than judging us. Truly, His holy character requires that he demand holiness in those who approach Him, but in His great love, He would not leave us without a way to put on that holiness and regain His presence. That “presence” would be regained through the “present” of His Son. The light at the end of the tunnel is Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!

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