2019 Advent Devo: Overshadowed

As we near the end of Luke’s gospel, today’s reading takes us to maybe the hardest chapter to read during Advent—Luke 23. It’s the story of the trial, suffering, death and burial of Jesus. What is happening in Luke 23 makes us pay attention to the things that happen at His birth. By seeing the end, it helps us learn the meaning of the things that happened at the start.
The baby that laid in the manger is destined for the cross. That is why He was sent. The angels at the birth of Jesus tell the shepherds, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Why would we need a Savior if there wasn’t something we needed to be saved from? It’s as if the cross overshadows the manger.


Every world religion has a path to righteousness & a way to get right with God. Their plans focus on merit rather than mercy. Religion puts the burden of righteousness on us. It demands we clean ourselves up, and we need to “get our act together.” But the Christmas story is centered in the fact that our attempts to be good will never be good enough. It is Jesus—and only Jesus—that will save us from our sins. We must obey God, we must live our lives rightly, but at the end of the day our only hope is Jesus. Us with God will save nobody, but God with us, Immanuel, will save anybody. He is not just God with us in the manger, but He is God who is for us on the cross. That’s God’s way of saying, “Merry Christmas!”

You are loved! Kent