Think of a time you obviously deserved punishment. Maybe you lied to your parents about where you were or who you were hanging out with, and they knew better and called you out on it. Or maybe you took a couple short-cuts at work, and your boss found out. Or possibly you neglected your kids, criticized your spouse, and gossiped about a friend behind their back, and now you’re dealing with the consequences.
All of us have sinned and have experienced being sinned against. Sin is at the root of every problem in this world—and it’s alive and well inside every one of us. Yet, when others lie, steal or murder, we cry out for justice! Help! Honesty! Fairness! Someone has to pay for what they did wrong!
But when we lie, steal or murder—well, that’s a different story, isn’t it? We plead for grace! Mercy! Forgiveness! Give me another chance!
God understands both sides, and He knew the answer that would solve both problems and both pleas. By sending Jesus as the perfect sacrifice to pay for and defeat our sin, justice was served and yet unimaginable grace was extended. We are guilty, but Jesus paid for it instead. And for anyone who grabs hold of His sacrifice and grace today, they are made into a new creation—the old has gone and the new has come.
Such rich mercy, such unconditional love.
- Think of a time when you deserved punishment but someone showed you grace instead.
- May this be our prayer today: “It’s amazing to think that instead of punishing me, Jesus, you took the pain of my sin on your shoulders and paid the price. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for giving me the right to become a child of God! May I live every day in this awareness and thankfulness.”
Prologue: Christ, the Eternal Word
1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. 8 John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
10 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
15 John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’”
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.