The simple beauty of truth
It won’t be a quick trip through Isaiah. Every year I plan to finish this powerful book before Christmas but, once again, I’m stopped in my tracks by the simple, elegant beauty of its truth.
We’re weighed down by our sin, Isaiah wrote, but there’s a simple solution. Repent. It doesn’t sound easy, does it? The idea of stripping away layers of sin causes us to pause and reconsider. We’re too comfortable with the window-dressing of wrongdoing, and we want to preserve our false dignity, wrap our pride a little closer.
Laying our souls bare before God frightens us, and well it should, for the King of the Universe demands purity. Bare souls have none of it.
The beauty of repentance
Repentance, however, isn’t the dreadful soul-massacre we might expect. Instead, it’s the best gift of all. Read the words of God again and revel in their tenderness.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18 nasb)
How can we have this white-as-snow purity? How can our sins be washed away? Only the divine gift of God’s provision can accomplish such complete cleansing. Jesus, God’s own Son, shed His precious blood as payment for our sins. Later, Isaiah will tell us much more about this Suffering Servant Son of God but today he merely whets our appetite.
Centuries of animal sacrifices paid the acute price, but the massive guilt of our wrongdoing demanded a permanent payment. Animal sacrifice alone was not enough. We instinctively know our sin is too heavy a load to carry. What we don’t quite understand is how to rid ourselves of it.
The costly gift of redemption is rarely celebrated in our traditional American holiday, but redemption is the point. God didn’t send His Son so we could buy meaningless gifts no one really needs and stack them under a fake tree as a monument to commercialism.
God sent His Son so we could be redeemed.
Sin is the problem. Redemption is the solution. It’s also the point, the best gift of Christmas. Today, let’s remember one important truth. The only gift that matters, the only one with eternal significance, is Jesus. Only Jesus.
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21 nasb
What steps do you take to keep Christ in Christmas? I’d love to hear from you, so please comment below, and thanks for commenting.
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