One of the most popular TV slogans over the years has been, “How do you spell relief?” You probably know the rest of it: R-O-L-A-I-D-S. The commercial last aired during a How It’s Made TV episode this past January which happened to be around the time of the Superbowl. It showed tailgaters indulging in their favorite food and beverages stating that they know only one way to spell heartburn and indigestion relief and that is R-O-L-A-I-D-S.
Now, if you wanted to make a commercial advertising relief from life’s disappointments, disasters, and distress, one word that always comes up in the scriptures is grace. God’s grace is his kindness toward us—kindness that we don’t deserve but is nonetheless given to us willingly and freely on account of his love. So, if you were going to sell persons on the concept that grace will give you relief, the question you’d ask is, “How do you spell grace?” And your answer is, “Here’s how you spell grace: J-E-S-U-S.
Interestingly, the word grace and the name, Jesus, have exactly five letters in them. But even more intriguing than that is the fact that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s grace. Jesus embodies what God’s grace is all about.
Grace through Jesus sets the tone for the season we celebrate this time of the year. Advent is a word that means something momentous is coming. Indeed, both the coming of Jesus into the world at his birth AND the appearance of Jesus when he comes again are momentous events worth celebrating.
John connected grace with the advent of Jesus when he wrote, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth,” (John 1:14). The divinely expressed thought and reasoning took on flesh and became human when Jesus the Messiah of God was born. John describes him as the one and only Son begotten of God our Father “full of grace and truth.” While this is the true message behind our celebration of Christmas, it is not very popular in our secular society today.
Times have changed. These days, it is more popular to have nativity scenes removed from public premises. Christmas carols are not politically correct, so they are banned in public schools and other institutions. And be careful you don’t wish anyone a “Merry Christmas,” or you might get into trouble. Just say, “Happy holidays.”
Well, excuse me! How can we celebrate this season if we cannot include Jesus in it? His advent or coming is at the center of it! Or, as they say, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Had he not been born to fulfill God’s grace and truth, there would not be a celebration!
To ignore Jesus at Christmas time is to leave out the important message of God’s grace and how he provides freedom from sin. Thomas Brooks wrote, “Saving grace makes a man willing to leave his lusts as a slave is willing to leave his galley, or a prisoner his dungeon, or a thief his bolts, or a beggar his rags.”
We can think of Jesus’ first advent and God’s grace this way: God’s grace is the key that unlocks the door of salvation; Jesus is the door. His two appearances, first, in Bethlehem, and next, when he comes again to Jerusalem, are the hinges. When Jesus is accepted as one’s Lord and Saviour, the door opens to provide entrance to the abundant life.
In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” If it weren’t for the grace or favor of God, we would not have access to the full and meaningful life that only Jesus Christ provides. He is the one and only way to relief. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,'” (John 14:6, NIV). No other person offers such a life. No other person offers forgiveness from sin. No other person offers true relief from the difficulties of life. No other person offers eternal life in God’s coming kingdom. So, if someone asked you, “How do YOU spell relief, ” do you know what your answer would be?
For more about this relief, click on the following link:
Good News to You!