A Lasting Christmas Gift: Grace and Truth

Take a glance over your shoulder before 2021 completely disappears in the rearview mirror! Christmas is our celebration of the One who left heaven above to be born a baby in a manager who would eventually become the sacrifice for our sins.

At Christmastime, we often focus on the accounts written by Luke (chapter 2) and Matthew (chapter 1) to provide the context of Christmas. However, John writes a very unique account:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. …14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

~John 1:1-3, 14

Yes, it was Jesus who was the Word and who was with God and was God in the beginning! He was the Creator! But then, according to verse 14, He became flesh and dwelt among us! Indeed, despite being fully, 100% God, Jesus humbly became fully, 100% man when He “emptied Himself” (Philippians 2:7) and was born upon the earth.

There are no irreconcilable contradictions in Scripture! One may argue, based on human understanding, that one cannot be 100% God and 100% man. Yet, God’s ways are not like ours! They are much higher! (Isaiah 55:8)

So, back to John 1:14. Notice what it says. He came that we might behold His glory as of the only begotten of the Father. He is full of grace and truth! Seemingly contradictory, perhaps, but surely not!

If Jesus operated only in truth, we would be in big trouble! The truth is, when it comes to sin, we are guilty and deserve punishment…and that punishment is death. Truth would consume us with no life-giving remedy for sin.

Likewise, if Jesus operated only in grace, it would be disastrous as well. Imagine a predator or a terrorist standing guilty before a judge who simply turned a blind eye and said, “What you did was awful, but oh well. I’m not going to do anything about it. You are free to go and do it again.” Wow! That would not be right!

Thankfully, the One who resolved the fully God/fully man dilemma also resolves the grace and truth dilemma! Not really a dilemma to Him because He is not limited to earthly thoughts and ideas. He is able to accomplish far more than we think or imagine! How? Through the cross of Christ!

Only Jesus can declare sin as wrong and deserving of death, then turn around and be the perfect sacrifice for sin. Picture this: the judge pronounces us guilty and sentences us to death, then steps down from the position of judgment to take the punishment for us. THAT is what Jesus did for us at the cross!

The birth of our Judge and Redeemer was the most precious gift ever, as His grace and truth bring life where only death is warranted. Oh how I praise God for that!

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