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A Family History Full Of Sinners and Grace

There is room for all of us under Jesus. There is no story, sin or past so great that the blood of Christ can’t redeem it.

Above my desk in my office sits a 66-year-old Bible. The cover is falling apart, the binding has long since quit doing its job and the pages show incredible wear and tear. It’s my grandfather’s Bible, the oldest Bible in my family’s possession. It was a gift from my grandma on Christmas Day, 1950 to my grandpa who was as best we can tell, the first male believer in our family line. I’ll always cherish it as its one of the things I inherited when my grandparents passed and it serves as a reminder of our family line.

This past Sunday Mark preached on the genealogies, a part of the Gospel that we often overlook. It’s true; genealogies are not as big a deal for many of us in the United States. Even so, they are significant. They tell us who we come from, how we got here and are a glimpse into who we are. These generations of names we studied yesterday unpack a great deal of insight both good and bad about those from the line of David.

Yesterday we came face to face with the reality that even the line of ancestors of Jesus is full of some “Oh, you know” types of folks. Villains, corrupt leaders, people with embarrassing stories from their past are all found in the list of names. The “so what?” of this passage? There is room for all of us under Jesus. There is no story, sin or past so great that the blood of Christ can’t redeem it. That is the hope of the Gospel and that is the truth we will celebrate as we move through this series.

There is a passage in Hebrews that was brought to my attention a couple years ago that I think is helpful in light of yesterday. Hebrews 2:9-11 says:

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.”

It is those last two sentences that catch my attention every time. Both Jesus who has made us holy and those of us who have been made holy are “of the same family”. Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters. Jesus is not ashamed to call me his brother. Jesus is not ashamed to call you his brother or sister. Let that good news of Jesus settle in your mind for a moment. I’m sure we all have a few of those “Oh, you know” stories in our background but because of God’s perfect plan we have the hope of salvation.

Thanks to this truth from Hebrews, this holiday season means so much to me. Even greater than the Bible above my desk that reminds me who my earthly family is, this season serves as a reminder of Christ’s arrival on earth and the citizenship I have in heaven. It anchors my heart in the eternal truth that God’s perfect plan has been in motion all along to redeem the stories of Tamar, Ruth, Rahab and me.

Mark taught us that Christ came for those who need to be rescued, those who need to be led and those who need to be connected to God. We are those people and thanks to Jesus, we have been adopted into his family and he is thrilled about that! Not only is this good news for us, it’s good news for everyone. It’s why our mission partners share Christ in places where his name has never been proclaimed, why they offer hope to victims of injustice and why they are translating the very passages we will study in the Gospel series into the native tongue of those they serve.

Today I am praying that this truth settles in your heart and that it prompts you to share that Good News with those you know. May our lives declare to the world that hope has come not just for some but for all.

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