Tuesday, December 22, 2009

THE CHRISTMAS INDENTURE

I’ve no idea where we got the words, but when we were kids we used to sing: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! Now that I’m older a new set of dentures would be nice! But what do you want for Christmas? Two front teeth? A new set of dentures? What is Christmas to you?

Maybe I’m strange, but Christmas reminds me of marriage as instituted in the beginning of creation by the Triune God. After He had created Adam from the dust of the earth He said: “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” Genesis 2:18. So God made Eve and joined the two together in the covenant of marriage. Thus the two became one flesh (Matt. 19:5&6; Eph. 5:31). Husband and wife are bound by “indenture”. The husband is the indentor, the wife the indented. Some couples remind themselves of their covenant by wearing one half of a medallion each. The two halves fit together perfectly like husband and wife, like a new set of well-made dentures!

Now, back to Christmas. What’s it all about? Well, Christmas has become many things to many people. However, the very first "Christmas" was the time when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” John 1:14. The middle Person of the Trinity clothed Himself in our flesh: Immanuel, which is ‘God with us.’ Thus the Son of God became also the Son of Man forever. Christmas, then, is about marriage, i.e., God’s marriage to man. When Jesus was conceived in the womb and born of the virgin, God the Son became one flesh with us (Eph. 5:30 KJV).

The first Christmas came about because God is true to His Word. Again, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Man, fallen man needs another helper. Jesus Christ is the missing piece of the covenant we broke when Adam sinned against God in the Garden.

When Adam broke the Covenant of Works/Life - when he broke that creational covenant - he separated himself and all his posterity with him from God. And unless God intervened man would spend the rest of eternity “alone,” i.e., without the comfort of God’s presence in Hell.

This, being alone, is “not good.” Some have joked that all their friends will be in Hell. However, Hell is not the place of friendship but rather of broken friendship. It is to be forever divorced from God. Hell is the place of conscious everlasting torment (Mark 9:43-48). But the good news is that God has provided us a Helper comparable to us. “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4. Mary, when a virgin, became the mother of Christ’s human nature. God is His Father. Two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. The two pieces of the broken first covenant are brought together in The Divine Person Jesus Christ. He is our renewed covenant (Isa. 42:6); our Christmas indenture.

Jesus loves His bride (i.e., His believing Church) and has laid down His life for her. On the cross He satisfied God’s justice by receiving the punishment due all covenant breakers. He perfectly kept the Covenant of Works on behalf of those who love and obey Him as a wife her loving husband. Jesus was raised from the dead as proof that God’s justice is satisfied with His good works.

Christmas, therefore, is about God and man being reconciled and reunited in Jesus Christ. Hence no one’s life is complete until they know Jesus Christ. He is our “better” half. He is the healer of the broken and yearning heart. He makes us whole again. He is the Husband. All who hope in Him are the bride.

What do you want this Christmas? Surely your need is God in Jesus Christ.

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