Focal passage: Luke 1:68-79
Jesus came to remove our sin.
As a high school math teacher, it never ceases to amaze me what students will do for a good grade. Some bring me baked goods or sweet notes. Others use smart phone apps to immediately discover correct answers. Once I even had a parent call my private phone number to explain that her child was so sweet that she deserved a better geometry grade for her kindness alone!
It almost sounds absurd, doesn’t it?
But before you criticize, I believe every human is tempted to operate like this. We are continuously looking for ways to get out of a mess. Just consider our relationship with God. Because of sin, we have been separated from our Creator. We long for restoration, so we strive to fix our sin problem.
Some of us work to complete a specific list of good deeds. Others attempt to please God by following a set of rules or regulations.
As much as we may hope these things will help us restore what has been lost, there is only one solution.
When Zacharias prophesied in the power of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Luke 1:68-79, he explained that God alone provides a way for the redemption of His people through Jesus Christ. Jesus came to redeem us from defeat, providing “salvation from enemies and from the clutches of those who hate us” (Luke 1:71). He came to redeem us from fear, promising that because of what He has done, we can “serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness” (Luke 1:74-75). And ultimately, Jesus came to redeem us from sin, providing “knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:77).
The students in my classes may improve their grade by copying homework answers, but they will never truly experience success until they learn the material. There is no substitute for this. In the same way, there is no substitute for the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. As much as we may try to remove our sin on our own, only Christ can redeem us from sin and restore our relationship with God.