The Gift of Redemption
“(Jesus Christ) who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to
purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:14
Read Titus 2:11-15
When the Grinch realized Whoville’s Christmas joy wasn’t lost in the decorations, gifts and traditions he had stolen, his too tiny heart grew a full three sizes! He put his grouchy grinchy ways behind him and joined in on the Christmas activities that once filled him with dread. Similarly, In Charles Dickens’, “A Christmas Carol,” we meet the original “Scrooge” in all his cold-hearted, Christmas hating, Bah-Humbug glory. That is until he entertains several visitors who help him see the error of his miserable ways. The man we meet in the opening scene is completely transformed. No longer bitter, he’s gone from grouchy to grateful; the very picture of kindness and generosity. These Christmas movies hold a place in our heart because they tell a story of redemption and if we are paying attention, we might just see ourselves in our favorite characters.
Just like Mr. Mean One himself, we need to be released from the power and presence of sin in our life. Our sinful nature wants us to stay lost, burdened by immoral thoughts and actions, controlled by worldly passions and enslaved by desire. Sometimes, we try to break free on our own. But, in order to see the chains fall, we need a redeemer. Someone to stand in the gap for us. Someone to pay the price and show us the way. Because there is a price for sin and it’s death.
When Jesus arrived as a little baby born in a manger, he knew he was on his way to the cross to pay that price in our place. Jesus’ work on the cross grants us forgiveness from the judgment of our sins but it also grants us freedom from the bondage to it. We can’t do it on our own.
Scrooge needed three ghosts to help him change his heart, we just need Jesus.
We can’t fight the hold sin has on us by ourselves. But we don’t have to because Jesus came to do it for us. He takes our grinchy, cold, enslaved hearts and he makes them new. Removing the hurt and transforming the hate he makes good things from what once was bad. He purifies our lives and gives purpose to our days. In his strength our redemption is made complete.
Family Activity: Using Christmas movie characters play a round of, “This or That”: Starting with the oldest person, each person asks the next, “Would you rather be ______ or ______?” (For example, “Would you rather be Grinch or Scrooge?” Play continues until you run out of characters!