Advent Day 11: The Forgiveness of Sins

“To Save us all from Satan’s Power When we were Gone Astray”

     Perhaps part of the reason that the Nativity scene is not often given the gravity it deserves is that we sometimes fail to understand salvation in world-wide terms. We often think about Jesus coming so that we might individually have our sins forgiven. While this is true, our “Jesus and me” mentality can cause us to minimize the story of salvation to something personal and spiritual rather than earth-shattering, but in fact, the nativity is just that, and the arrival of the Magi demonstrates this to us.

     When the Bible talks about sin, it is not always discussing simply your and my personal moral failings. It often speaks about sin as an overarching power that has subjected the entire world to accursedness. Scripture says that nature now groans and suffers due to the power of sin’s curse, and the “forgiveness of sins” will result in nature’s reformation. Likewise, the power of sin has turned nations against each other, and the “forgiveness of sins” will take on the form of all nations coming to Israel to know the LORD more and co-exist within his glorious goodness.

     While Jesus’ cross does not come for at least another 30 years, this does not mean that we are not yet beginning to see the world-changing effects of the forgiveness of sins. The Magi coming to see Jesus is an echo in our ears of Isaiah’s promise that the nations would come to meet with and learn from the LORD in Israel (Isa 2:3), and when we look at the nativity scene we ought to be struck with overwhelming wonder that in his simple birth, Jesus is undoing the world-wide powers of sin, and bringing the nations to himself to experience this new order of peace and goodness that will be fully experienced when he returns.

Passage:

-Matthew 2:9-11; Isaiah 2:3

Discussion Question:

-Sometimes one of the things we overlook most in Christianity is the wonderful vision of the future the Bible gives when Jesus returns and fully forgives sin. Read Revelation 21-22. What kind of wonderful pictures and feelings do these descriptions bring fill you with?