Thursday, December 15, 2011

the gospel of adoption

Each year, I feel like God gives me a new lens to view Christmas through.  Last year, I posted this about really seeing God as father as he “gave up” his son to come to earth, knowing he would be crucified by the very people he sent him to save. Thinking about giving up my own son in that way, really deepened my view of the Father’s heart. 
This year, God has given me a new perspective to view this amazing season. I have learned so much and journeyed through so much this year. Now I see Christmas through the lens of Jesus’ adoption.  After reading Russell Moore’s “Adopted for Life”, I learned so much more about how the entire Bible is threaded together through the lens of adoption.  One lesson has stuck out to me and has been brought to life even more this Christmas.
The Jewish people had knowledge of a Messiah coming. They thought he would be the grandest of kings the way that the world views Kings; riches, triumph, valor and success. They had memorized scriptures of His coming, they knew he would be coming from the line of David, one of the greatest kings.
This prophesy is what ties the old testament to the new. The prophesy of Jesus and the fulfillment of that prophesy is the good news of the Gospel.  However, I had missed how this prophesy was actually fulfilled.  Mary was not from the lineage of king David….it was Joseph.

The prophesy of the Messiah was answered through adoption.

The Gospel was fulfilled through adoption.

Joseph’s adoption of Jesus.

Moore recalls a question he was asked about one of his adopted sons. “Are you his real dad?” He expands on what it means to be a “real” dad and relates it to scripture.
He relates it to Joseph’s role in Jesus’ life: 
“Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father…no amount of Joseph’s DNA could be found in the dried blood of Jesus peeled from the wood of Golgotha’s cross…Joseph is not Jesus’ biological father, but he is his real father.  Jesus would have said “Abba” first to Joseph…And perhaps most significantly, if Joseph is not really the father of Jesus, you and I are going to hell…Joseph’s adoption of Jesus means Jesus belongs to “the house of David just as truly as if he were in a physical sense the son of Joseph”. It is through Joseph that Jesus finds his identity as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise. Joseph’s fatherhood is significant for us precisely because of the way the gospel anchors it to the fatherhood of God himself.”

I think of Mary- a “good” girl, following what society says you “should” do. Engaged to a righteous man. Plans of a wedding, a future, just like society approved of. But God had bigger plans for Mary, however, this came at the sacrifice of comfort and societal approval.  Joseph would have been deemed right to leave Mary since she was pregnant with a child that was not his while engaged. But Joseph put aside his comfort and his reputation for God’s glory. He adopted God’s son as his own. This act fulfilled the prophesy of Jesus. Joseph was the earthly father that God had planned for Jesus since the birth of time. Joseph’s surrender, submission, and obedience to that call of adoption on his life allowed such Glory and Grace to be revealed to the world.

I keep thinking about their thought process through all of that, Mary’s surrender and seemingly quick “yes” in obeying the Lord.  I wonder if Mary questioned if this was really God’s plan for her as she gave birth to the future King on a bed of hay next to barn animals.  I think of Joseph’s strength and humility as he accepted what the Lord had for his life, which I’m sure differed from his plans greatly. I think of Joseph’s bravery in the rescue of Mary and Jesus as he led them away from Herod as he tried to kill his newborn boy.

I think a lot of times we cling to our plans, what is comfortable in our lives.  Sometimes we miss out on a greater glory the Lord has for us because of our fear to obey, our fear of society’s approval, our hesitancy to step out in faith and surrender.
I pray this season you rest in God as the author of your story, you take bold steps where he is asking you to, you revel in the sacrifice and the Glory of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection, and you reflect on how that will impact your life so that you can then make an impact on the kingdom.
Merry Christmas! 

No comments:

Post a Comment