December 1 I Saturday
2 Peter 3
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
There are some people who think God is out of reach. They see God as a supreme power who seems distant, unseen and unknowable. When God created humanity, He breathed His Spirit into them, which set us apart from every other living thing, but when Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, this spiritual life was lost and humanity became separated from God. In their shame, Adam and Eve hid, symbolic of the distance between God and humanity from that moment forward. But the story does not end there.
God retained a relationship with humanity by choosing for Himself a people, Israel, through which He would bless the world, but there was still much distance in this relationship. Just before God gave Moses the Law on Mount Sinai, He appeared to the Israelites in thunder and lightning, smoke and fire. He commanded Moses, “Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death” (Exodus 19:12). This would become the pattern for God’s dealings with His people in the Old Testament. God remained behind a curtain in both the tabernacle and the temple, the places He chose to live among His people, and only the high priest could enter His presence once a year after undergoing specific cleansing rituals. Any others would die.
We have here a distant God, a seemingly scary God, a God whom because of sin we could not touch or come near. But at Christmas, everything changed. God came in the person of the Lord Jesus to live among us. Before, the Israelites could not even touch the mountain on which God appeared; now, He came as a baby to be held and grew up to heal people, often by touch. Jesus was crucified for us, substituting Himself in our place by taking the penalty for sin we deserved. The gap between us and God has been bridged, and we can now “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence...” (Hebrews 4:16).
As long as we remain in sin, there is distance between us and God, but God became one of us so this distance could be mended. Jesus is the way to the Father, and when we believe in Christ, we not only enter into relationship with God but receive His Spirit to live in us as was always intended. Such is the love of God for us, who was determined that we be no longer distant from Him.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to live among us, for bridging the distance between us, and for giving Your Spirit to live within me.