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Advent Series
CCFS Newsletter
December 25, 2022

And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever."
Exodus 19:9a (ESV)


"Jesus didn’t show up unannounced…” as Paul Tripp astutely observed, and when we look at the pages of Scripture, we see the announcement as far back as [Genesis 3:15 (ESV)]. 

Christ does not come in a thick cloud.  No, he came as a tiny little baby. 

Prior to the cross of Christ, Advent, you might say, lasted a few thousand years.  The earth had long been groaning and his people had been waiting for a Savior, for the great Messiah.


And now that He has come, in the fullness of time [Gal. 4:4, Eph 1:10], we look back to the cross and celebrate. Indeed, while Christmas commemorates the birth of Christ, our meditations on the true Light [John 1:9] who pierces darkness, cannot and ought not be considered apart from the cross. 


He came for his people (Ps 14:7) but in coming for his people, he went through the cross.  In order for the Good Shepherd to rescue us sheep (we who always go astray, Isa 53:6),  the Shepherd had to lay down his life. 


“I am a good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 1:11


Thus, in thinking about the Christ child on that first Noel, we must simultaneously think about the purpose of his coming. Christ came not merely to dwell on earth, but he came to dwell in the earth by entering into the “silence of death” [Ps 94:17 NIV)] on our behalf. 


"What is man that you make so much of him, that you set your heart on him…why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.”
Job 7a, 21 (ESV).


Job’s suffering is not fundamentally different from ours.  If Christ had not come, our anguish would feel as hopeless as Job’s anguish seemed to him when God tested him. 


Job caught a tiny glimpse of something we must pay attention to this Christmas: 

*  *  *  *  *

God the Father was so mindful of man, making so much of him
that he saw fit to send his only Son to become man.

*  *  *  *  *


But what Job couldn’t quite see, however, is that transgression and iniquity will be taken away by and through the Son of Man; and it will be taken away forever and ever.


If we think Job’s suffering was bad, our plight is infinitely worse if Christ is not who he said he was.


The Father placed not the mark of cursing on us or Job (see Job 7:20), but on his Son (Gal 3:13).

In exchange we receive the ultimate mark of love by the sprinkling of his blood on our heart [Heb 12:24].  This blood was shed for his people and was the only way to fulfill this long awaited love; the only way to reverse the curse brought about in the Fall; it was the only for Advent to truly have any meaning.


Christ had to come, Christ had to die, Christ had to be buried and Christ had to rise on the third day.


This is why Christ came and this is why, despite whatever is going on in our lives - despite the sickness, death, grief, poverty, hunger, we can exclaim as the Psalmist: 


“I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” 

[Psalm 104:33 (NIV)]

Copyright © 2022 Edward J Ruiz II, All rights reserved.

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