Christmas…It’s About the Cross

I’m not fond of secrets.

Christmastime makes it really difficult for me to keep secrets. When I was a child, the suspense of not knowing what was in the packages with my name on them was torturous. Because of that torture, more times than not I surreptitiously lifted the cellophane tape off one end of my brightly colored presents and peeked inside.

After years of practice, I became an expert at unwrapping the package without damaging the paper, sneaking a peek, replacing the tape, and acting surprised on Christmas morning.

When I clandestinely unwrapped my Christmas presents, if there was a toy inside, whoopee! If there was a necessary sweater, or more knee socks, well…

As an adult, I have the same problem. Only in reverse. I get so excited about what I’ve bought Pilot. I can’t wait for him to open it. To help him figure out the gift, I give him hints. Sometimes, he won’t play along.

When I think about it, I wonder if God felt the same excitement and anticipation I feel at Christmas when he prepared to send his gift of love to our broken world. All through the Bible God gives us hints as to what was to come. Sometimes we ignore his clues and won’t play along, but that doesn’t take away the gift.

God’s prophets spoke of a Messiah. Shepherd. Cornerstone. One from the house of Jesse. One from the line of David whose kingdom would never end. A savior. Immanuel. God with us. Those words hold joy and excitement.

Unlike the words in Isaiah 53:5. Words like pierced, crushed, punishment, wounds. That’s when I understand the joyful gift of a baby in the manger became the necessary gift of a sacrifice for our salvation.

And I cry.

Next to the manger scene I set up each December hangs a cross and a crown of thorns. Lest I get caught up in the presents, the baking, the decorations, and the carols, I need a reminder in front of me. Christmas is about much more than a baby, gifts, and family. Christmas is about the cross. It’s about the sacrifice, the suffering, and the Savior who died and rose again so we might live.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get excited about the gifts under the tree. But it’s the gift that hung on a tree, that really matters.

What do you believe?

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (GNT)

I wish you well,


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One of my devotions will be posted on Christian Devotions December 30, 2013. Please stop by and check out the site.

God’s Got A Big Eraser

One of my devotions will be posted on Christian Devotions November 6, 2013. Please stop by and check out the site.

In the days before overhead projectors and smart boards, how many of you ever asked your teacher if you could erase the blackboard? Oh, yeah. Hand’s raised. It was a feeling of accomplishment, wasn’t it, when you pushed that black felt eraser back and forth, and obliterated the words dear teacher had scrawled all over the board.

Only, no matter how hard you scrubbed, there was always a trace of the written word on the board. Until it was washed clean with water.

Well, when I switched places, and became the teacher erasing the blackboard, I realized how really awful it is, and was more than glad to have little hands do the job for me. The dust got all over the place. Even the dustless chalk. It got on my hands. Particles flew through the air and made me sneeze. They settled on my clothes. Residue rested in the dust tray, which I inevitably leaned against, and ended up with chalk streaks across my backside. Not pretty.

One day, however, I found an amazing, new eraser. This thing was the best. It was made out of foam, or rubber, of some sort, instead of the usual black felt. Loved. Loved. Loved it. This eraser took away ALL the dust. It didn’t leave any residue on the board, or in the tray. Yes!

You couldn’t see remnants of previous words or numbers. They were all gone. All erased. All forgotten.

So, I’m thinking…God’s got an eraser like that, doesn’t he? When he erases our sins, through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, there isn’t any residue left. No faint reminder, where if you really tried, you could see everything that had once been on the board. It’s all gone. All erased. All forgotten. Washed clean.

Satan’s not real happy with that, though, and he wants us to use the black felt eraser. He wants to keep reminding us of our sins. He wants us to stay guilty. To walk around with chalk lines on our backside.

BUT JESUS took all our sins upon himself and nailed them to the cross. When we name him as LORD and King of our life, we don’t need to keep dredging up the past and its sins. Jesus has an eraser that’s far superior to the foam one I used. His eraser stretches from one scarred hand to the other.

Hanging on to past sins? Talk to Jesus about them. Let him forgive you and take them away.

As high as the sky is above the earth, so great is his love for those who honor him. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us. Psalm 103:11-12

I wish you well.


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