A New Lens
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Last December, I went to a live nativity event at a local farm. It featured several outdoor stations to visit, each recalling a different scene from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. After visiting each station and then enjoying some treats, each person in attendance was given a pair of cardboard glasses with special cellophane lenses.
This little poem came with the glasses:
“Look at the Candy Cane,
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me.
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure?
‘J’ is for Jesus
My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for me!”
To our delight, when we put on the glasses and looked around, all the lights around us sparkled in the shape of candy canes.
On Paul’s third missionary journey, he arrived in an area called Pisidian Antioch. As was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day.
Paul takes the opportunity to address the assembly. He invites his listeners to see the Scripture and the events of their entire ancestorial history through a new lens. Isn’t it mind-blowing to realize that the writers of the Old Testament had no idea how their words would one day be fulfilled in Jesus Christ? But God knew.
Paul wanted them to see with new eyes how God artfully weaved the red and white stripes of Jesus as the coming Savior throughout all the Old Testament.
“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”
Why was this good news? God had made many promises to his people. And when God makes promises He keeps them.
Remember in the Garden of Eden when God said, “If you eat of the tree in the middle of the garden, you will surely die?”
Death and decay are a direct result of sin. David, who we know was a sinful human, held to the hope of the resurrection for himself. Yet his body did decay. But Paul points to a deeper meaning of David’s inspired words in Psalm 16:10:“You will not let Your Holy One see decay.” Death could not hold the One and Only HOLY Son of God – Jesus.
Jesus was begotten, raised again, resurrected. This means He was God’s only (one of kind) Son. No other person has been raised from the dead to never die again. This proves He indeed is the Messiah.
Jesus, the HOLY Son of God conquered death. Therefore the payment for your sin and mine has been satisfied. When we trust in Him we can know for certain that though “the wages of sin is death” yet “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
This is indeed GOOD NEWS!
"Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”
Breath Prayer – Take 2-3 minutes today to pray a simple breath prayer. Get somewhere quiet and relaxing. Breathe in deeply, and then breathe out fully.
As you breathe in, say, "I know through God's Only Son, Jesus. . ."
As you breathe out, say, "I am completely forgiven."
Pray this way for just a few minutes, trusting God to work.