Brothers and sisters together, hushed tones, hymns at the bedside, words whispered, approaching death, dark of night, last breaths, silent tears, goodbye tears; our daddy slips away. Body taken. A halting realization: we will never hear that “daddy” voice again. Memories are all at once swept into the past; no more sweet moments are given for the future (in this life). His touch, his voice, his presence gone. One hour there, the next begging to hear, to hug, to see, to talk to again. A body once full of life and personality, breath, and identity, the next minute empty and cold.
I hate death. The feeling of emptiness that comes with it. The look of death. The missing of death. Everything about death. Every time, it only reminds me of the death I experienced personally and closest to my heart: my dad’s. And yet, this Christmas season, as I think on the reason I celebrate with decor, presents, and songs, that is exactly what I am reminded of. As spiritual beings the Bible says we are dead. Unable to meet God’s good and perfect demands. Stuck in caskets of our sins and unrighteousness.
And you were dead in the tresspasses and sins… ~Ephesians 2:1
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. ~Ecclesiastes 7:20
No way on our own to reach the holy perfection of God. Death upon death, since sin first came into the world. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12 ESV) Our spiritual bodies empty and cold.
This is the state that Jesus broke into on that first Christmas. A Savior had been prophesied. Now prophesy fulfilled. God’s plan to restore men to Himself set into motion. A perfect little baby, God Himself in fragile form, born into the world. He came. He lived – to die as a perfect substitute, so that we spiritually dead people might have the Life that only He could bring to us. Light and life broke through darkness and death.
In Him [JESUS] was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:4-5
His light and life didn’t just break through the darkness and death that one time. Oh yes, that was only time God Himself appeared in human flesh. But now today, Jesus invites you to partake of His breaking through the darkness and death of your own heart, His arrival personally to you through His Spirit. Reconciling you to God. Restoring a broken relationship between you and God. Making you a new man or woman from the very inside. Wrapping you in the utter perfection of God through Jesus Christ. Breathing the breath of His life into your lungs, lungs that can now breathe the breath of freedom in Christ, now able to live for the purpose for which you were created. To bring worship to God. To live in relationship with the One who created you. Will you receive that arrival? He is here. God with us. Immanuel.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in LIFE through the one man Jesus Christ. ~Romans 5:17