In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 4:10
Some translations of Scripture use the words “all-atoning sacrifice” in place of “propitiation” in this verse. While certainly a true representation of what’s happening here, and more easily understood than “propitiation”, it loses some of the depth of what’s happening here. This isn’t merely a sacrifice, like the countless bulls, lambs, and doves sacrificed in the Temple for years. This is a laying down of Christ’s life. His sacrifice absorbed the wrath of God against a world of people entirely lost in their sin. The depth and breadth and width of such love cannot be measured, and it cannot be comprehended. But we thank and praise Him for it just the same, and rest in the knowledge that His love accomplished this on our behalf. Savior, You stand as our propitiation, welcoming us into Your loving arms. Thank You!
And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.”
How it must have hurt Jesus that His family, His hometown withdrew honor from Him, doubted Who He was. Mark 6:6 tells us He “marveled at their unbelief.” When we share the Word in Truth and Love, and people look at us blank-faced, perplexed, or even with laughter, we can know that the Savior Himself received the same response! Jesus, the Prophet, came and fulfilled every Word spoken of Him since Genesis, without fail. Yet, it was still difficult for those closest to Him to grasp. Lord, today we pray for all those who do not honor you and those who do not grasp you. You are Prophet, Priest, Savior, and King
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Not only is His very birth a miraculous paradox, but by His name, Immanuel, Jesus is God with Us. He is this Immanuel, who comes to sojourn with us in our weakness and humility, who takes our sin upon Himself and makes full atonement for it. Not because there was anything in us to make us deserving of His sacrifice or even presence, but His love for us was — is! — so great that He did for us what we could not do for ourselves. He rescued us on Calvary and still rescues us every day by His great love and compassion. Where do you see His rescue in your life? Even when it’s hard to see, we stand on truth – He is our Immanuel – God with us.