Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Night Before Xmas, Scene 7: The Rest of the Story

“I’m sorry, sir. I just don’t get it.”

“What is it that you don’t understand, Lori?” asked the visitor.

“You told us that Jesus came to break down the wall that terrible wall between God and man. I don’t see how a baby being born could do that. He was just a little baby. They are cute and sweet, but babies don’t break down walls.”

He smiled broadly. “Oh, no, my dear. It was not Jesus’ birth alone that broke down the wall. That was just the first step. It was what came after that made the difference.”

Becky chimed in. “What came after?”

“Jesus grew up and became a man,” answered the old man. “And as he grew up, he did something that no other person in the history of the world had done.”

“What did he do?” asked Stevie.

“He did not commit a sin.”

Stevie was incredulous. “Everyone does things that are wrong. I can’t seem to go thirty seconds without doing something wrong.”

“Not Jesus. For more than thirty years he lived a perfect, sinless life. He never broke a single one of God’s laws – not in his actions, in his words, or even in his mind.” Stevie shook his head in wonder. Becky was trying to process it all and Lori sat with her head down, staring at the floor, lost in thought. “Remember what I told you before, children? The wages of sin is death. We have to die and face the judgment of God because we have sinned against God. But Jesus never sinned, so he did not have to die. He kept the Law of God perfectly and he earned a place in heaven with God.”


“Yes, Stevie. Jesus was perfect in his behavior, and he was also perfect in his love for humanity. He did the most incredible thing. It was planned by God before this world was made and it was carried out to demonstrate the love of God for us.”

“What did he do?” Becky couldn’t take her eyes off the man.

“He offered to die for your sins.”

“For my sins?”

“Yes, Becky. For yours, and Stevie’s, and Lori’s. Jesus died for the sins of all mankind. We had earned death with our sins. Jesus had earned life. So, he offered to take the death that we deserved. God took our sins and placed them on Jesus. He suffered death and hell – the punishment that our sins deserved. Then, three days later, God raised Jesus up to new life and having taken the death that we earned he can now give us the life that he earned. It is an amazing trade.”

“I understand,” said Lori. She was coming to grips with these spiritual truths for the very first time in her life.

“Do you really?” he asked.

“I think so. My sin built a wall between me and God. There was nothing I could do to break it down. So Jesus died for my sins and knocked down the wall.”

“That is absolutely right, Lori. Jesus was the one sent by God to save us from our sins and make it possible for us to be right with God again. He died for our sins, and now he offers eternal life to anyone who trusts in him.”

There was silence for several seconds. Finally, Stevie spoke. “Jesus is pretty awesome, isn’t he?” Becky nodded with him. Lori just looked up, tears in her eyes, the cynicism and sarcasm that marked her was fading fast.

“He is more wonderful that you can even imagine, children. That’s why the angels shouted so loudly, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord.”

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Whom the choirs of angels praise;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While our hearts in love we raise.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

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