Today we read about a remarkable encounter between the resurrected Jesus and two confused disciples. The disciples had hoped that Jesus would redeem Israel (Luke 24:21), but he had been brutally murdered on the cross. These disciples had heard from others that he had risen from the dead, but no one could find his body. They wondered if their hope had been misplaced.
We do not know exactly what Jesus said to the disciples, but his point is clear from verses 26 and 27: the thread of the cross has been carefully woven throughout the beautiful tapestry of the history of Israel and the Old Testament, and he is the tie that binds it all together. Abraham, Egypt (Joseph), the Exodus and the Law (Moses), the judges, King David, the prophets, even the exile to Babylon had all been leading up to this point and hint about the coming of Jesus. Jesus left his home (i.e. heaven) in obedience to God’s call (like Abraham) to be sacrificed as a sin offering by his father (like Isaac). Jesus was betrayed by those who supposedly loved him, only to be their savior (like Joseph), and he would set his people free, not from slavery to pharaoh, but to sin itself (like Moses). Jesus is the High Priest and King forever who fulfilled the Law and made atonement for sin once and for all on the cross (1 Tim. 2:5; Hebrews 7:27), and he defeated Satan, our greatest adversary (like David). Scripture is clear that Jesus’ crucifixion was God’s will and sovereign plan to redeem people from every nation from their sins (Isaiah 53:10; Mark 14:36; Gen. 22:15-19). This Advent, let us remember the purpose of Jesus’ birth and marvel at the mystery of the cross, God’s plan at work through the ages.
- Joey Alge
1) How can you allow the cross to shape your Christmas this year?
2) The cross is the fulcrum of history. Now God is at work reconciling the world to himself through faith in Jesus, and he wants us to join him in this work. How can you be a part of his mission? With whom can you share the good news about Jesus during this season?
*How long have you loved a brother, sister, or friend? How long have the people in your house loved you? How long has God loved you? How does it make you feel to know that God loved you before time began? How does it make you feel to know that God had a plan before you were ever born to bring you into his family with Jesus? Who do you want to know this good news?
**Jesus, thank you for your life on this earth. Thank you for leaving your kingdom to save me. Thank you for loving me before I even knew you. Help us not to forget what you have done for us. Amen.