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Every year, before Christmas, I spend time reading the prophecies of Christ’s coming and the gospel accounts of His birth. I love to think about all of it. I love the way the truth of the season is threaded through the Old Testament and the New. I like to make notes of little tidbits of grace or wisdom that God highlights for me.
This year, as I’ve focused on God’s amazing love, a verse I don’t usually consider at this time of year, has danced across my thoughts. Galatians 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (New King James Version)
I memorized this verse many years ago, and it has often crossed my mind. I’ve been pondering what this really means. The wonder of the Christmas story is that Jesus, fully God, was born of a human woman. I hope this always overwhelms my mind. To think, He put Himself into the finite body of a young girl and allowed Himself to be born and cared for as a helpless infant.
Then there’s the second part of that verse. He was born under the law. Galatians 4 goes on to tell us He did this so we could be adopted as His own.
It also says He came to redeem those who are under the law. He came “under the law” to get us out from “under the law.”
At that time, Rome was the ruling power, and it had a tight hold over people. When the Jewish people read the prophecies about the birth of the Messiah, they focused on this. They wanted out from under the restrictions placed on them by Roman rule. They wanted a new king. Yes, Jesus came to free them from the domination they lived under, but not in the way they’d hoped.
But God …
(I love those two words.)
had a greater purpose. He sent Jesus so we didn’t have to live under the power of the law. Jesus was the New Covenant between God and people. Jewish law had also become impacted by legalities created by men.
Jesus came to free them and everyone else from the oppression we allow or that is around us.
He came as the expected Messiah, which means, “anointed or chosen” so that He could do as His name implies. Jesus means, “to save” and that’s why He came—to save us from our sins.
His name is Immanuel or “God with us.” Because of that, we can be who He made us to be. We are able to live in God’s truth rather than under lies and fears, which keep us stifled.
Now each of us can discover who He is, how much He loves us, and how much He wants us to love Him.
He is with us at all times because of the gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in God’s children.
Because of the birth of this little baby, who was born of a woman and raised to follow the laws of that time, I never have to live chained to anything.
I don’t have to buy into the lies of the devil when he whispers that I am unlovable.
I no longer need to remain under the weight of self-doubt.
Fear has no power over me because Jesus removed its power to rule.
This Christmas, I will rejoice in Christ’s righteousness which He offered to me through His coming.
I pray that today, you will be able to spend some time pondering the wonder of this season, and releasing whatever is trying to maintain rule over you. Remind the devil you belong to Christ by speaking the truth of God’s love. Jesus came so you could be His child.
Ponder that awhile, and be amazed.
Photo credit: Unsplash-Zach Angelo