The Promise of Forgiveness.
John 1:1-5, John 1:9-18
The term "forgiveness has come" is intentionally used in place of "forgiveness has been given" as both relate to the incarnation. The incarnation is the "already" piece to the theological term "the already but not yet." But, why the difference in the terms "forgiveness has come" and "forgiveness has been given"? We all know that Jesus came as fully God and fully man to bring forgiveness to humankind; what more is there?
What we understand about the incarnation (coming of Christ) is that what took place was not just the gift of life given to our broken world, but it was the manifestation of life itself. John 1:4 "In Him was life, and the light was the light of men." This is the story of the gospel, in a nutshell, Jesus is Life, not just that He brings life, not just that He brings salvation, but that He is life and He is salvation. Because He is life, then the incarnation makes sense of all life.
Jesus has stepped into our world as the life and light of God, and He makes that life and light available to humankind. Forgiveness has not just been extended because that would not have reflected the true heart of God. The Father could have easily bestowed these gifts upon us from heaven, yet He chose to cast a reflection of His heart over the world by sending us the very essence of His Life and Light. John 1:16 "And from His fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace." Forgiveness has come, through His "fullness" not just a gift from God, but a gift through the fullness of God, His only begotten Son. That kind of gift reflects the true character and nature of our God.
The substance of the season is Christ being the manifestation of the Life and Light of God and that He invaded our broken world. Advent is the celebration of forgiveness coming into our lives through Christ, and from His fullness, we have received grace upon grace. We have received an inexhaustible supply of grace and mercy without exceptions.
All of this is a reflection of the heart of Father God, who will withhold nothing, even His only Son, the manifestation of His life and light, to express His love for us His creation.
1. In light of the fact that "forgiveness is here," what are some things in your life today that you need to confess or commit to God? If Christ came as the manifestation of the life and light of God, then you can be forgiven.
2. If “forgiveness is here’’ for us to receive, then forgiveness is here for us to give. To whom do you need to extend forgiveness?