The Glory of Christmas Part II
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."3
In yesterday's Daily Encounter we told the story about a man named Angus McGillivray, whose example transformed a hellhole of a World War II Japanese prison camp into a place of caring and concern. This transformation meant survival for many of the other prisoners and happened because one man, Angus McGillivray, gave his own life to save his mucker (prison buddy/mate).
What a powerful illustration of the fact that one person can make a difference and what can happen when one gives his life for another. As the Bible teaches us, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."4 And what a powerful reminder of the One who laid down his life for you and me—the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God—who stepped out of the ivory palaces of heaven, laid aside his external robes of deity, clothed himself in a garment of human flesh, and became a man to identify himself with us when he came to earth at that first Christmas 2,000 years ago, so he could become our Savior to die for our sins, and as a result save us from the curse of hell and a lost eternity.
Some people argue, if God is a God of love how could he ever send anyone to hell? The reality is that God doesn't send anyone to hell except Satan and his horde of evil demons for whom hell was created. If we go to hell it is because it is the natural consequences of our sinfulness. We send ourselves there.
Let me illustrate. If I jump from a very high tower the natural consequence will be that I will kill myself. It will be the result of my trying to defy the law of gravity, the law that holds the universe together. I cannot break this law. If I try to, it breaks me—physically.
There is also a moral and spiritual law that governs the universe just as real as the law of gravity. Neither can this law be broken without natural consequences. If I try to break it, it breaks me—spiritually. According to God's Word, the Bible, the consequences of breaking the moral/spiritual law is death; that is, spiritual death which, following physical death, will be eternal separation from God, the author of all love and life—and that will be hell in hell.5
Because we have all sinned, we are spiritually dead and, consequently, separated from God who is a God of holiness in whose presence no sin can ever exist or sinner survive. However, because God is also a God of love, he has made a way of escape for all who put their trust in him. The answer is in tomorrow's Daily Encounter.
To be concluded...
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that you are God and not a god made with human hands or the figment of man's imagination. Thank you, too, that you are God of infinite holiness and perfect justice; otherwise you would never be God. And thank you that you are also God of infinite love in that you have made a way of escape from the eternal punishment that your holiness and justice demands. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: See footnotes at end of Part III.