I Want Your Sin

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Amen.

Tonight we have heard that something spectacular happened long ago.  Yes, we have heard that God intervened into our world and a tremendous joy erupted – a joy that caused all the angels in heaven to sing.  What was so spectacular and so joyous, though?  Well, the Messiah was born, the Messiah that was spoken of from long ago.

This birth of the Messiah was no ordinary birth, though.  It was a peculiar birth, unlike any other birth.  A newborn child, swaddled in clothes and lying in a long open box used to feed horses and cattle is most peculiar indeed.  Technically, this baby was a homeless baby being born not in a house or an inn, but in a stable.  Yes, the Messiah was born as a defenseless human child on a cold winter night in one of those caves where Bethlehem farmers kept their animals.     

Considering all of this, we probably feel a bit sympathetic to this Christ Child right about now; the poor little Jesus is defenseless, maybe cold, the stench of the animals is around Him, and He is literally homeless.  It was a most dire state.    

In fact, our hearts may be tugging at us right about now, and we may say in our hearts,

 “Lord Jesus, You are freezing.  You shiver.  It is so hard and uncomfortable where you sleep.  Oh, how can I help?  How can I repay you?” 

Now, if the Christ Child could speak back to us, I think we would hear Him respond to us with something like this,

“I don’t want anything.  Just wait, even more difficult times await Me.  Yes indeed, even more difficult times await Me at the Cross of Mt. Calvary.” 

This response certainly does not help our troubled hearts.  So, our hearts may tug at us again, causing us to reach into our wallets and purses, saying,
“Let me at least give you some money, so that you can at least spend some nights in the local inn.  I have to give You something! Here, take some money, it is the least that I could do for you.”   
If the Christ Child could speak, I think we would hear Him say,
“The heavens and the earth are Mine.  I do not need your money or your charity.  Give it to the poor, and then I will receive it as if it was given to Me.”
With our hearts still troubled, we may muster up some force in our voice and say with energy,
“Dear Christ Child, I will gladly do that, but I still want to give something to You!  My heart is full of sorrow.  I want to give you something!  I must ease this sorrow in my heart!”
After a brief pause, if the Christ Child could speak, we would hear Him say, 
“Dear friends since you are so generous, I will tell you what you can give to Me. . . . Give Me your sins. . . . Give Me your bad conscience.  . . . Give me your guilt. . . . Give it all to me.” 
With our hearts caught off guard, we quickly respond,
“What on earth will you do with my sin, my bad conscience, and my guilt?  Why do you want this?” 
The Christ answers,
“I will take your sin, your guilt, and your bad conscience upon My shoulders.  These things will be My glory and My kingdom.  I will bear your sins; I will take them away.  I will take away what is yours and make it Mine.  I do not want your money, your efforts, your sympathy, your achievements, but I want your sin.  I want your failures.  I want your filth.  Give me all of this, so that I may take it to Mt. Calvary.  I want your sin, your guilt, your bad conscience so that you might be free from all of this and have eternal life!”
Dear friends, even though the birth of this Christ Child was an unusual birth, this birth was one that was predicted and spoken of from long ago.  It was said that this Child would crush the head of Satan.  It was said that upon this Child, the government would rest.  It was said that this Child would tend His flock and gather the lambs in His arms.  It was said that this Child would be great to the ends of the earth…  And this Christ Child, my friends, is indeed the fulfillment of all that was spoken of long ago.  He is the one who crushes Satan.  He is the King of Kings.  He is the Good Shepherd.  He is the great Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.  He is the God who comes to humanity – His children – and takes the world’s sin and guilt unto Himself to Mt. Calvary.  He was the one born to go to that Cross.  He was born to die and then to rise – for you and me. 

So, this evening we hear the story of the birth of this Christ-Child into human history.  And as we hear this story, our hearts and minds bow before the manger knowing that we can never thank Him enough.  Our hearts and minds bow before the Christ Child knowing that we cannot give Him anything that would sufficiently thank Him for what He’s done.  We bow before the Christ Child knowing that He was born to take our sin, our guilt, and our evil upon Himself – to die and rise for our justification. 

Indeed, we bow and praise this Christ Child this evening for we would never dare come to Him if He had not come to us first. 

We bow and praise Him this Christmas Eve knowing that He came to humanity in that manger long ago and comes to us tonight in His Word, to forgive, renew, and bless us with eternal life. 

Dear friends, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly this evening, teaching and admonishing you in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

Note: The idea of the dialogue between the hearer and the Christ Child comes from a great church father named, Heironymus.  

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