BLUEPRINT FOR CHRISTMAS

December 18, 2018

 

Long before God ever breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life, a blueprint for mankind’s salvation had been forged upon the anvils of Divine deliberation (See Ephesians 1:4).  It has been argued that the Biblical account of human creation is cruel and unmerciful because the option of disobedience was introduced, which the first couple pursued, and were consequently held responsible for their sin.  The suggestion is that a much kinder approach would have manufactured robotic individuals performing at the hands of a grand puppeteer.  But alas, which critic would voluntarily give up his own free will?

Can God be blamed for the entire debacle of transgressions and its cause and effect?  To declare the Creator accountable approaches heresy to many, but never fear, the Lord accepts full responsibility:  “I form the light, and create darkness:  I make peace, and create evil:  I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)  In the light of this admission God held Himself duty-bound to provide a remedy for the problem He created: namely, humans with the ability to choose good or evil.  Always preferring righteousness seems to be unachievable:  “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.”  (Romans 3:10)  Conversely, choosing evil has disastrous consequences: “For the wages of sin is death..” (Romans 3:23). What could be done to reconcile these difficulties?

The summation of heaven’s plan is found in Hebrews 9:22: “…and without shedding of blood is no remission.”  But the first hint of the design came shortly after our first parents’ sin.  Upon discovering their nakedness, they clothed themselves with fig leaves - which Scripturally represents self-righteousness.  The Lord rejected this covering by providing His own:  “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)  Clearly, innocent blood had to be shed to provide acceptability.

The picture begins to take further form and visage when God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac to a place of sacrifice, offering the boy in strict obedience.  At the last moment, the Lord interceded by providing a ram for the sacrifice and burnt offering.  The entire image points to:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

In spite of nine horrific plagues, the Egyptians were unrelenting concerning Moses’ demands to release Israel from bondage.  God reserved the tenth plague to crush the Egyptians’ will and provide a living illustration of the long range proposal.  The heavenly order was issued for each Jewish family to slay a lamb and smear the blood on the lentil and side posts of their doors to avoid the death of each firstborn of the household.  “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are:  and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:13)  It must be noticed that the text does not say “when I see your pedigree, sex, age, color, station in life, degrees, background, upbringing, talents, education, religion, sacraments, traditions, beliefs, motives, tendencies, or ideals”…”When I see the blood.”  By now, the trail of blood is firmly entrenched in Bible doctrine.

A journey through the Old Testament reveals a large variety of sacrifices that were offered for many different transgressions---some daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, some even for sins of ignorance, but the one common denominator was a requirement for sacrificial purity.  In spite of external perfection, could the unblemished sacrifice be an animal?  “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)  Any human would only provide the same imperfection because God judges the heart which “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Reduced to a singular final solution, Heaven’s wisdom determined that a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) would be impregnated by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18), using the seed of the Word of God (John 1:1,14).  This union would produce a human body, but its reservoir of life would be God’s blood. (Acts 20:28)  Finally, a sacrifice that was truly without blemish!

At a great parliament of religions held in Chicago many years ago, practically every known religion was represented.  During one session, Dr. Joseph Cook of Boston suddenly rose and said:  “Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow.  Bloodstains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them.  The blood is that of murder.  She has been driven to desperation in her distress.  Is there anything in your religion that will remove her sin and give her peace?”  A hush fell upon the gathering.  Not one of the company replied.

Raising his eyes heavenward, Dr. Cook then cried out, “John, can you tell this woman how to get rid of her awful sin?”  The great preacher waited, as if listening for a reply.  Suddenly, he cried, “Listen, John speaks:  ‘The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’ (I John 1:7)”

Not a soul broke the silence: the representatives of Eastern Religions and Western Cults sat dumb.  In the face of human need, the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone could meet the requirement.  The sin of the race demanded the blood of Calvary…the blueprint for Christmas.

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