“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open his mouth.” — Isaiah 53:5-7
Alright, I know that I have been pretty heavy on the Good Friday message, and this text rings of much of the same. I understand that this runs contrary to the warm and fuzzy feeling we wish to have at Christmastime. Let me suggest that this awkwardness is healthy. It shouldn’t be an either/or, but a both/and. We should feel warm and fuzzy about a God who loves us so much that He would send His own Son into the world to save and redeem us, His lost and wandering sheep. We should be grateful that He would pay such a price. We should sense the richness of His love and grace as “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” He was pierced and crushed so we wouldn’t be. That is how much God loves us!
But now let’s go back to more of a Christmas theme. Take a look at the peaceful setting of the first Christmas. See Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds and angels, and sense the peace of that wonderful day. Stop for a minute, this Christmas Eve, and live in the peace of that very first Christmas. Know deep in your heart that this is the way it is supposed to be and what it is all about. God wants you to have the peace that was once in the stable, restored into your heart and life. It is OK to want the warm and fuzzy feeling. God wants you to have it, too. Just never forget the price He had to pay to get it back for you.
At some point today, read the Christmas story in Luke 2 and then close your eyes and prayerfully ponder the peace of that special day. Ponder the peace that the Lord desires you to have this very day, and then go and have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.