Sin is an impediment to a joyful life. Because sin separates us from YHWH who is Holy. This is the human condition, in the Biblical context. We want good things from God, but don’t want God Himself. Jesus Christ laid himself down as a solution.
YHWH brought His people together through Christ, not by coercion but by love – by lying down His life for us. Piper writes, “How shall a holy and just God treat us sinners with so much kindness as to give us the greatest Reality in the universe (his Son) to enjoy with the greatest joy possible? The answer is that God put our sins on his Son, and judged them there, so that he could put them out of his mind, and deal with us mercifully and remain just and holy at the same time.” (pg. 36) And so, by the blood of Christ we are granted the New Covenant. Wherein, the Holy Spirit moves our hearts to love Him, not through outward restrain but by regenerating our hearts from the inside.
This is what we celebrate during Christmas. The commencement of a joyful life. Because the Father of everlasting life Himself, has reached out to us to save us from ourselves. (Is 9:6) And so, what does that mean for you and me? Piper writes, “Which means that God is now free (since sin has been dealt), in his justice, to lavish us with the new covenant. He gives us Christ, the greatest Reality in the universe, for our enjoyment. And he writes his own will—his own heart—on our hearts so that we can love Christ and trust Christ and follow Christ from the inside out, with freedom and joy.” (pg. 36)
Today, despite knowing Christ has secured our freedom and joy in Him, if we seek our satisfaction elsewhere, what a lost that would be.
Note: All of Piper’s quotations are from “Good News of Great Joy”
Read previous entries in this Series:
(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory