Good morning and a happy Advent season to you!
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us— for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
Have you ever pictured how beautiful Eden must have been, as God’s Word paints the picture of His Creation. I imagine it when I wonder at nature around me, in beautiful blooms, sunrises and sunsets, the perfect shaped leaf with a myriad of fall colors, the depth and variety of color in a campfire, butterflies and puppies, and even the shape of each little individual snowflake. God’s creation is totally amazing to me. And then…
Just three little chapters into His creation story we are hit with the dark, ugly, fall. Sin enters the world. The couple who had been blessed with all of this goodness and provision, has experienced sin, and now carry the curse. It is a curse that has effected all of creation, every human heir of Adam and Eve, since that very minute. Let’s take a look at the curse:
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:16-19
While we have a loving God, who blesses us, we must not fail to see that He is a God who also demands obedience and inflicts punishment and consequences. In this case, a curse. Yes, He is loving, but He is also just. Because of His holiness, He must discipline. Sin is a direct disobedience to God and must be punished.
Notice, after Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t just leave them there. He came to them in the Garden.
“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).
True, He came to announce the curse, and to punish, but He came! He stepped into the brokenness of the Garden, where sin now lived. The Old Testament is a view of God coming to His people, over and over reminding them of their sin, and even though they could never escape the calamity of sin and the curse, they were often blessed. As Nancy so beautifully illustrates the situation in today’s devotional:
“Humankind had taken a picture-perfect setting and made it uninhabitable, but God came into that cursed place and declared that He would rectify this situation. That’s why Jesus came.
He walked into a world that was broken and wrecked. Everything the curse entails—hardship, struggle, pain, grief, heartache, turmoil, limitation, condemnation—Jesus came to encounter. Long before God came into the garden pronouncing His curse, He had already planned for Someone to come and stand in our place, to take the full brunt of that curse for us, to bear the righteous punishment our sin deserves. “
As we said yesterday, God’s highest blessing was Jesus. Jesus is the answer to the curse. This is a blessing we can never fully encounter if we don’t first feel the weight of the curse. When we feel the weight of our sin, we will want to rid our lives of it. We must repent (turn away from) sin. Christ, through His birth, death, and resurrection, is the cure for the curse that is still prevalent today.
Father, help me see the weight of my sin. The only redemption from that curse, from my sin, is Jesus, the blessing You provided as our atoning sacrifice. I thank You and praise You for Your mercy and grace. Amen
In today’s Advent freebie, I added a little donkey for the nativity. Just click on the preview to go directly to the download.
So far, this is what all of the kit looks like together. If you are missing any of it, just go back to the previous days and grab it. It will be available through the month of December.
Be sure and come back tomorrow for more Advent encouragment. Have a blessed, happy, scrappy day!