The Rescuer The Story of Christmas Peace Today

THE RESCUER:  THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS PEACE TODAY

 

In the beginning, there wasn’t any need for Christmas. Step back in time, and picture the following story as it takes you from the beginning through Christmas to today and on to the end. It is well worth a peaceful pause in your Christmas schedule because everything else will mean a lot more if you see it all against this backdrop, the place of Christmas in the story of the world. Here it is:

 

God, the Real God, creates a beautiful world with life everywhere, but people are tricked into thinking he is still withholding something from them so they take and try for themselves the one thing he warned was poisonous. Sure enough, death gets loose and the world gets ugly with shame, violence, abuse, and funerals.

 

But God does not give up. He takes things to a new level. Through Abraham, who really trusts him, he creates a whole God-tribe to show all the other tribes why everybody should trust him more than they trust their own judgment.

 

Down through the centuries, we see why in the story of the God-tribe as a whole and in the rescue stories of tribe members like Joseph, Moses, David, Elijah, and Esther. They are all on the right track but none of them can quite do what really needs to be done to rescue the human race. What they do is point forward to Christmas, the day God takes things to another new level.

 

Christmas is the day the Rescuer is born. That’s what all the excitement is about. God sends his son Jesus to earth through Mary, and it’s perfect. The Rescuer, the “Messiah,” is the one-of-a-kind God-person who totally trusts God as his Father and can totally make this rescue plan work. Even his name means, “The Real God rescues.”

 

When he grows up, he tells the whole God-tribe, “This is it! God is making his move now! Follow me and see what I mean.” Many are thrilled to follow him but the leaders think he is a fake because he is not doing things their way. He looks so dangerous to them that they give him a death sentence and get him executed on a cross! But here is the best part of the story—Jesus does not stay dead! God brings him back to life.

 

For 40 days Jesus keeps showing up alive and explaining what is going on. Then God takes him to heaven and installs him as King of the universe. And do you know the first thing he does from there? He sends his Spirit, life, and power down into his followers, plugging them all into the rescue plan that started with Abraham. 

 

Jesus sends them out, radiating life, showing and telling that he really is the Messiah, the key to forgiveness and life for everybody everywhere including right here right now. In other words, Jesus turns the God-tribe into a God-movement anybody can join. All this started on Christmas and cannot be stopped.

 

Some people think this is the best news ever, and they join the movement of the Christmas King. Others are so wrapped up in their own lives or so committed to some other cause or group that they don’t want to hear anything about joining some global movement Jesus is in charge of. Some of them wish Christmas had never happened, and they try everything to shut the messengers up, but it doesn’t work. The messengers are able to show the same forgiveness and courage Jesus showed when he was tortured, because he lives in them.

 

That’s how things stand for Christmas this year, but when the set time comes, the Rescuer will come back to earth in person to complete God’s plan, and everybody will see him do it. He will destroy evil once and for all and reconnect the whole world to the Real God in all his glory.

 

And that's why we celebrate Christmas, why we live without fear in a world full of tragedies like Syria and uncertainties like the next U.S. president, why we help everybody we can help rise from shame, violence, and abuse. Between Jesus’ first coming at Christmas and his Second Coming on the set day, our joy and love come from him and point to him. As Abraham’s heirs and Jesus’ messengers, we are sneak previews of a world at peace. Merry Christmas!