The Gospel of rags Kendall Lankford

December 19, 2017

Our Lord, upon entering this earth, was wrapped in cloths and laid in a feeding trough made for animals. Our Lord, when exiting this earth, was likewise wrapped in cloths and laid in a borrowed grave. He came down to the lowest depths in birth, descended even lower in death, wrapped up in old rags, to teach us three very powerful things. 

1)     In His birth, He has identified His great love for you. No matter where you came from, or what your status, He can empathize with you. He left the splendor of heaven to recline in a feeding trough made for pigs.  Why? So that you would never wonder if God was too busy to notice you, to show you that you cannot go too low for God to reach you, to prove that He will leave heaven, condescending to the lowest parts of our humanity to bring you up. He loves you!

2)    In the grave, He took your place. Your sin condemns you to death, but Jesus willingly allowed Himself to be bound by the rags of death to give you the new kind of life in Him. He’s done the work! Your part is to believe that your sin convicts you before a holy God, confess that you need a savior to rescue you from your rebellion, and place your trust in Jesus Christ - He will take your place!

BUT wait

3)    Jesus did not stay bound. While He began His life bound in a shallow trough to show His great love for you, and while He died being bound in a hollow grave to take your place, He did not come to remain bound. He broke out of those rags to signal victory and freedom for the people of God! This shows us that He not only loves us, and not only that He took our place, but also that He intends upon setting us free.

This Christmas, remember why Jesus came. If you are not feeling loved, look to those Christmas rags and accept His great love for you. If you are feeling separated from God and all alone in this world, then look to His humble grave cloths and remember that He has taken your place. If you are feeling bound by life, sin, circumstances, emotions, or anything else, look to that heaping pile of rags left lying in an empty tomb. Jesus intends on setting you free.  You can experience that freedom this season in Christ.

Amen

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