Monday, January 1, 2018

LHM Advent Devotion - January 1, 2018 "THE LAW FULFILLED"

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries


January 1, 2018

And at the end of eight days, when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
~ Luke 2:21 (ESV)

This is the day some call the "Feast of the Circumcision," and others "the Name of Jesus." It marks the first time Jesus officially came under the authority of the Law of Moses, the set of rules God gave to Israel about how to live. All of these rules, from greatest to least, were designed to teach the people about God's holiness and impress on them the need for them to be holy also.

But anyone who has ever tried to keep the Ten Commandments knows how impossible that is. Read through them! "Do not murder," okay, that seems like an easy one. But then Jesus comes and explains to us (Matthew 5) that this includes any kind of harm or insult that we throw at someone else, even just in our thoughts. Oops! "Do not bear false witness." Well, I can avoid false testimony in court-mainly because I've never had to testify in my life-but avoid deceiving anyone in any way ever? I'm clearly in trouble.

When I look into the Law I don't see a manual for how to get to heaven; I see a very clear reflection of every flaw, vice, sin, and mess-up I have ever committed. And I can't erase them or make up for them. Who will help me? "Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:25a). Jesus was born into this world to take my place under the Law-a Law too heavy for me to carry, but not for Him.

From birth forward, Jesus did fulfill that Law-and He did it perfectly. How incredible! But that wasn't all. Then He willingly chose to take on Himself the penalty due to lawbreakers-pain, suffering, and death. He paid our debt to the Law. By doing that, He set us free. We owe nothing anymore. And when Jesus rose from the dead, He promised to share His own everlasting life with all of us who trust in Him. That's how much He loves us. Thanks be to God!

THE PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for paying my debt and setting me free from the burden of breaking God's Law. Let Your Holy Spirit live in me. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
This is the day some call the "Feast of the Circumcision," and others "the Name of Jesus."

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