Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb
Monday, December 19, 2016
Jesus Paid It All
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them at the inn.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished": and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
I guess for this year, my view of Christmas has been a little different. Some might say a bit dark, but I like to think of my view as being real....
I know that this season is thought to be one of great joy, and a celebration ( and it is), but maybe the celebration should be about how Christ defeated the darkness by taking it upon himself.
Isn't it a bit ironic (not that God would ever use irony to get a point across) that His Son, Jesus, came to this world and was laid in a manger. A manger made of rough hewed wood...Funny how wood played an important part of Jesus' life. He came into this spiritually dark world that was running low on hope. A world and a society that laid claim to be looking and waiting for THE Messiah to come. A deliverer who would over throw the oppressive chains or Roman rule. They waited for Him.....they watched for Him.
On the night of His birth, because of their situation, His mother Mary laid this new born babe, who'd been wrapped in strips of cloth, in manger. A food trough was His first bed.
The feel of the rough cut wood on His back was one of the first sensations Jesus felt.
The last sensation He felt was also wood....
The feel of a Roman cross that He lay upon.
Can't have a manger without a cross....
Can't have a cross without a tomb....
Can't have a tomb without a throne....
As A.W. Tozer once stated..."Let us never forget that weakness lies at the manger...death at the cross...and power at the throne.
This entire process of living, dying and rising from the dead is the same road we all travel to find and receive this new life of salvation.
I am born again into this life because of what took place on the cross of Christ.
His shed blood opened the door for my sin-debt to be paid in full.
Upon receiving it, I die to self...
My sin was nailed to that cross once and for all time never to be remembered by God.
Because of this, I am born again into a new life... a new way of interacting with God, through Jesus.
So if you want to look at all this in a new way, consider this.
The cross is the ultimate Christmas tree....
Around the base of the Christmas Cross, there are packages with our names on them.
Gifts from God.
In fact the gift we receive is God.
Romans 6:23 - The wages of sin IS death, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life through Christ Jesus. The verse didn't say "The gift from God", but rather that God is the gift.
He becomes our all sufficiency that we look to in this life.
That is the ultimate Christmas gift, and I receive Him every day....
So this Christmas season, celebrate the birth, but keep your focus on the cross.
Find the joy that flows from Christ.
Feel the love of the Father.
Pass on what He has provided to you.
Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla