"...to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins..." --Luke 1:77
You can't get past it. Forgiveness of sins is the salvation that Jesus brings.
He doesn't come to just to model morality or love. He doesn't come merely to offer peace or platitudes, but he is interested in saving people who have offended him.
The hope found in Jesus Christ is that God lets go of his right to punish us for our sins and instead reveals saving power toward us through forgiving us.
Because of that, we recognize we need cleansing. We need a Savior. Christmas is a celebration of that kind--that I was a sinner, deserving judgment and God came looking to forgive and restore what I had spoiled.
I love what David prays in Psalm 51:7 when he was caught in the sins of murder, lying, and adultery:
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
That prayer is answered in the coming of Christ!
Labels: advent, Bible study, Christianity, Christmas, forgiveness, Jesus Christ, New Testament, prayer, salvation, sin