Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Write Your Passion: Reason to Rejoice

Today, we welcome author Ada Brownell. 

God and Satan were having a discussion.
“I can do anything you can,” Satan said.    
“All right,” God said. “Make a man.”    
Satan bent over and started scooping up soil.     
God touched the devil’s shoulder and said, “Use your own dirt.”

Ever fully realized you’re nothing but dirt? For years I’ve studied the human body and the more I study, the smaller and more insignificant I feel. Although the flesh I live in is awesome with the seeing eyes, hearing ears, a brain that even at my age is better than most computers, and I have awesome electrical systems, more than a trillion cells that have specific jobs to do, I’m nothing but dust.

I was about to get a complex when I realized God can do a lot with a handful of clay.

Similar in some ways to the little chip inside a computer, the human body has something within far more significant than the parts that can be seen or viewed with modern technology. Inside us is LIFE, and the soul and spirit that God breathed in there.

Humans were made for life, but because of sin, the body of flesh became destined to die. Beautiful animals found themselves tied on the altars, and the bleating of the quivering lambs and the bulls’ urgent bellows didn’t spare them from the knife that slit their throats. Yet, the blood was only temporary atonement for sin because the Promised One hadn’t come.

But then, an angel announced a virgin would conceive, and nine months later, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
When I think of Jesus and his sacrifice to come to earth, I remember the big husky evangelist who was a dinner guest. The man piled his plate high, and then began scooping food in his mouth.

“When you look at me now,” he said between bites, knowing we all watched, “It’s hard to realize I was once helpless and flat on my back.”

“You were?” we asked in amazement.

He grinned. “Yes. I was a baby once.”

It is so awesome to realize the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was there when the universe was created according to John 1, became a baby.

One Christmas I pondered with wonder the thought that God’s Son would slip inside the helpless body of an infant--with his care dependent upon humans. He couldn’t even walk or climb out of the manger. Then I realized it wasn’t so amazing after all. Jesus downloaded the instincts and programmed parents’ brains so a baby’s cry would be so irritating Mom and Pop would do al­most anything to stop the sound. They would offer food. They would change the diaper. They would hold the infant.

The Lord also added another dimension to parents. Their love would be so deep they would tenderly and adequately care for the child and if necessary, give their own lives to protect their offspring. Even parents who forsake their children can’t get away from this God-imparted love, because if they get the chance, the parent will ask forgiveness before he or she dies.

But the Child whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas was no ordinary baby.

The prophet Isaiah wrote about it centuries before Jesus came: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned….

We know about that shadow and darkness. We became aware sometime in childhood our body isn’t eternal. I heard it when my older sister informed me that Indians used to roam where we lived near the Colorado National Monument, and before our time, Indians killed white people there. I knew what “kill” meant. Our family killed chickens and pigs and other animals for dinner. Then, too, my mom kept taking me to funerals so I would be aware of my mortality.

But I also learned on those living in the shadow of death a light has dawned. “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Matthew 4:16).

Jesus is the Redeemer promised in Genesis 3:15 right after Adam and Eve sinned. God warned the first couple if they ate the forbidden fruit, they would die. There in God’s garden, they became mortals. Their flesh would be subject to illness and dying, and it would affect every person born thereafter.

Yet, God would do something about death when He sent the Promised One.

When the Baby was born in Bethlehem, hope came with him, but it wasn’t completed until the angry mob beat God’s Son with a merciless whip, pierced His hands and feet when they nailed Him to the cross, jammed the crown of thorns on His head,  slit His side and blood and bodily fluids gushed to the ground.  For sin is so terrible, the Heavenly Father required a blood sacrifice to wipe it out. Jesus became the sacrifice—once, for all--that would take care of our sins if we asked and give us eternal life.

Those who killed Jesus thought the joyful songs that filled the earth after His birth would be silenced. Yet, three days later, the Messiah was out of the tomb, and the singing began again.

Across the world people still sing, “Joy to the World, the Lord is come” and “O Holy Night.” For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be alive. The day is coming when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, and this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:22 and 54).

We have reason to fall on our knees and rejoice.

Ada Brownell is a retired newspaper reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado and now is a free lance writer who lives in Missouri. She has had 250 articles and stories published in Christian publications. Her latest book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal will available at in December 2011.

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