Once again we’ve all grown a little wiser and a little more nervous. Last week a young couple opened fire in a Christmas party in San Bernardino killing 14 people in a terrorist attack that caused us all to question just how possible it is for us to have the same thing happen in our city or workplace. At least for a time we will all wonder if our next visit to a mall, airport or Christmas party could be our last even though we know the chances of anything like that happening are infinitesimally small. It’s still a very real fear.
We all wish we had a safe place where we could be sure nothing could hurt us whether physically or psychologically. We live in a world that increasingly is moving toward the notion that we all deserve to be protected against anything we find painful or offensive or even the fear of anything of that nature. Yet, we find in Scripture that this concept is quite the opposite of a biblical reality. In Scripture we find that in reality we are all deserving of the worst kinds of things happening to us. In fact we find that God himself is opposed to us and is determined to bring the worst kinds of judgement on us because we deserve it. The prophets of old prophesied destruction and disaster to those who refused to walk in his ways and even in the New Testament we find the wages of sin is death and that because of sin we are already spiritually dead and are living under God’s wrath. Not a pretty picture. Not a safe place!
At the same time we find the prophet Isaiah prophesying to this same people that are under God’s judgement that God is coming to comfort them. He is going to bring an end to the ‘warfare’ that they are experiencing which is nothing less than his active warfare against them. He is bringing forgiveness and is going to pay them back a double blessing for all the sin they have committed. What!? Come again? I thought we all deserved total annihilation? We do, but God decided he would spend his wrath in the only way that would satisfy his justice.
What we celebrate at this time of year is the coming of the messiah Isaiah prophesied would come some 700 years beforehand. This messiah would be born of a virgin, live a perfect life, become the perfect sacrifice, and ultimately willingly give himself as the focal point of God’s wrath and judgement. In Isaiah 53 Isaiah writes graphically and specifically about the way and the reason this messiah would die. All the judgement we deserve was being placed on him so that we would not have to bear the judgement for our own sins and rebellion. Through faith in this finished work of Christ you can find the only safe place that makes any sense. Isaiah says in 40:5 that the primary reason God is doing this is for his own glory. He wants His glory revealed. The end result of God wanting to glorify himself is salvation for us. Our “safe place”.
There is much talk today of having a safe place. In the end its not as important that you have a safe place here and now, but through the cross you have been put in the safest place possible. You have received double favor Jesus received all your judgement. Your safety is assured because of what Christ has done.
Let’s spend this Christmas seeking to see the glory of God in the face of Christ.