He Has Been There: December 22

Lutheran Indian Ministries 2016 Advent Devotion

Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that the Savior took on flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death. By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the Devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.

It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every de- tail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.

Hebrews 2:14-18 (MSG)

 Take a look at the family tree of the Babe of Bethlehem.

 Jacob tricked Esau, his brother. He connived with his mother to deceive his father and steal his brother’s blessing. He was a liar and a thief! Yet, God chose to redeem and bless Jacob, making him the father of 12 sons, who became the 12 tribes of Israel.

 Rahab was a prostitute. But, she helped Joshua’s spies by hiding them in her house and enabling them to escape Jericho. Despite her “profession,” God chose to bless her and included her as part of the family tree of Jesus!

 King David took another’s man’s wife and committed adultery. Then, he schemed to have Bathsheba’s husband murdered. David was an adulterer and a murderer, yet God chose to make him a great king and the father of the Messiah, called “David’s Son.”

 Instead of erasing these names from His story, God used them to fulfill a role in history, to be remembered for their part in the Kingdom. This wasn’t by accident. We know that we all fall short of God’s expectations, but Jesus wants you to know, “I’ve been there, and in spite of everything, I can use you for my Kingdom work. I will redeem your past and bless you.”

 Jesus grew from that baby in the manger to a man, crucified on the cross for our sins. He felt every shame, pain, and fear that we do. And because He understands, He desires to bless you, so you can be a blessing to others.

 Dear Jesus, thank you for taking on human flesh so that You could understand the temptations and trials I face. Thank you for being the Son of God, with the power to walk with me through my struggles and turn my trials into blessings, Amen.

Rick McCafferty (Inupiaq Eskimo), Anchorage, Alaska