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David Eric Williams

Dec 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Far As The Curse Is Found

The first chapter of Luke's gospel recounts Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth just after Mary had been told she was the mother of the Messiah. She greeted her cousin upon arrival – and Elizabeth "gave a glad cry" and begin to praise God (Luke 1:42-45). In response, Mary voiced her own song of praise, commonly known as The Magnificat. In her song, Mary gave praise for her exalted position, for God's mercy upon his people, lifting the lowly, bringing down the mighty, providing for the needy, humbling the rich and watching over his people. She concluded with the acknowledgment God made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever (Luke 1:55). Her song of praise prophetically announced the character of the messianic reign. No first century Jew would have believed the Abrahamic promises were reserved for an eschatological kingdom after the created realm had been destroyed. Instead, followers of Yahweh expected God's reign to begin in the current age and creation to return to an Edenic state as the blessings of God were poured out. This expectation was rooted in the original promises given Abraham and reinforced by the pronouncements of God at Sinai. In short, the people of Yahweh anticipated the messianic kingdom to be characterized by God's blessings (cf. Luke 1:67-75). As children of Abraham in Christ Jesus, we have the same expectation (Galatians 3:26-29). Evidence of God's intention to bless his people in this current age is found throughout Scripture. Two pieces of evidence have special significance during the Christmas season. In the first place, Jesus is truly human. He is flesh and blood. He came to his created realm as an actual person and verified the love of God for human beings and the world we live in. The second piece of evidence is found in John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The Greek word translated as "world" is kosmos. The English word cosmos is derived from this Greek term. In its original use it generally means the created universe and everything in it. Certainly the fullness of God's blessings will not be actualized until Jesus' second coming but we must not downplay the fact that God is currently reconciling the world (kosmos) to himself in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19). The reconciliation takes place as individuals bring their life and arena of activity under the Lordship of King Jesus. Jesus Christ, King at his birth, affirmed prior to his ascension that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to him. Hence, it is appropriate to sing: Joy to the World; the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let ev'ry heart prepare Him room, And Heaven and nature sing. Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns! Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains Repeat the sounding joy. No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love. May the reign of King Jesus be evident in your life and sphere of influence. Merry Christmas.