Countdown to Christmas – Day 18

For Jew And Gentile Alike

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 3:21-31

During the festive Christmas season one can flip on a glowing television screen and find an abundance of Christmas movies all created to warm the soul. One of the most popular movies of all time is the classic 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street. A department store Santa is put on trial to not only prove his credibility as a functioning member of society, but to determine of he is indeed the real Kris Kringle.

Many doubted his claims. Many refused to believe. But the main character of the story and her young cherub-like daughter grew to believe he was indeed who he claimed to be. And their faith and belief caused them to witness miracles by Kris Kringle himself rewarding them with the desires of their hearts.

Now let us remove Santa and put Christ before a judge and jury. He was scorn for His claims and put on trial to prove His credibility and determine if He was indeed the Son of God. Many doubted His claims. Many refused to believe. But for those of us who have grown to believe that He is who He claimed to be, well, we are some of the main characters in this incredible redemption story. His birth, trial, and slaughter by the hands of those to refuse to believe was all for us. He came for both Jew and Gentile alike.

We know Santa is a mere tale and figment of a child’s imagination, but there is not one of the world’s major religions that deny the existence of Jesus. Both Judaism and Islam agree that a man named Jesus was born. He was a prophetic teacher and man of good deeds. He stood strong on issues of morality and goodness. But they are the ones who sit in the jury box doubting His claims as the Son of God and prophesied Messiah.

We are the ones in the audience of the courtroom knowing that because He sat in the trial seat, we don’t have to for justice was served on our behalf. It is our faith and belief in Him alone that will make us witnesses to His miracles rewarding us with the desires of our hearts. For when we are obedient to Christ, it is His desires that become our own.

Father, thank you for your Son who stood trial so I may be justified before your throne. May I not only bear witness to His miracles, but share with others His mercy and goodness. In Jesus name, amen.

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