Jesus Came for You
"'My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.'" John 17:20-23
Jesus came to save the world, and that means He came to save little old me and you, too. It's important to acknowledge the collective redemption that Jesus provided for humanity. He became the atonement so that everyone would have the chance to know the Father. Equally important, though, is the affirmation of the individual redemption that Jesus ushered in for each of us. With every person in mind, He went to the cross. For all of our sins, He was beaten, crucified, and gave up His life in accordance with the will of the Father.
My son is six months old, and as I cradle him this time of year, he reminds me of the tiny human form that Jesus took on, so that He could save the world. Truly, with humility, Jesus entered humanity as the most vulnerable -- a baby -- born in the most meager of circumstances. From the very start of the Christmas story we get the impression that Jesus came to serve, to love, and to connect. He was just what our broken, sinful world needed. Jesus preached to the masses and He also spoke to individuals and invited them to follow Him. He had a perfect balance between keeping the whole world in His hands, but also, taking notice of the individual people He encountered.
The prayer above, found in John 17, is one that Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane before He was arrested. It has always touched my heart. He's praying for all the believers to come. He's praying for me, and He's praying for you. We are His followers that believe because of His disciples and the Gospel message they shared so long ago that continues to be told to generation after generation. Jesus may have walked the earth with a small percentage of humanity, but He died for the entirety of humankind. He came to save the whole world and He made it possible for each of us to believe, to follow, and to live righteously.
If you think you're not important, if you think you're of no value, if you don't think you matter... I invite you to re-think who you are in light of Jesus' sacrificial love. He gave His life for you. He came for you. Through Him you were created. He came for you because you are good, worthy, lovable, and because He wants to know you. Jesus wants you to follow Him. Christmas is all about Immanuel (God with us) entering humanity and forever changing the course of history. Each of us has been impacted by His coming. In His final hours of life, He thought of us. He prayed for us. What joy! What a wonder that the one whom everything was created through and by took notice of each of us in His final hours.
Christmas is a couple days away. Consider the little baby boy born in Bethlehem that would go on to change the world and die for us all. Let this season bring you joy. It's never too late to enter into the glory of His miraculous birth. Let Jesus' love for you penetrate your hardships, walls, and emotional ups and downs. Bask in His love for you, so that your heart will be transformable, and so that you will get to feel the peace and hope found in the Christmas story of a tiny baby born in a manger who would go on to save the world.
Let us pray...
Lord, thank you for sending your son Jesus to save us from sin, death, and destruction. We cannot fully grasp nor understand what we have been spared from because of the unconditional love You have for each of us. Lord, You know our individual circumstances, and we ask that You would grant victory, breakthrough, healing, and redemption. We pray that in this time of year, we would be filled with peace that surpasses all understanding. We pray to feel your joy and hope as we ready for the remembrance of Jesus' birth. Thank you, Lord, for all you have given and all you have done for us because of your perfect love. Amen.
Suggested further reading: Luke 2, John 1, John 17
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