At first glance, today’s passage seems out of place. It’s full of sacrifices and offerings—much more appropriate for Good Friday than Advent, right?
But that’s deliberate. These verses remind us of the close link between Christmas and Easter: When Christ comes into the world, the cross is already in his mind. Christmas is not just the birth of a sweet baby. The birth of that baby is the incarnation, when God takes on human flesh and redeems it.
In verse 9, there’s a sense not of sweetness but of doom: “See, I have come to do your will.” This is the life Jesus Christ must lead. This is the path he must walk—from the manger to the cross. There’s little that is sweet about that; it’s horrifying and sobering.
But it’s just one more reason for us to be grateful during Advent. Yes, Christmas means that the Lord is near. But it also means that the Lord is incarnate, that he is obedient, and that he is victorious. His birth means that we have been freed from the power of death. We have been redeemed.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that you didn’t stop at coming into the world. You went as far as living a perfectly obedient life and going to the cross on our behalf. It’s crazy to imagine that kind of love. So I’ll simply give you thanks.
The Advent devotions follow the Common Lectionary texts. You may use the devotions in a number of ways, but you are encouraged to do the following:
Read the passage through at least once. (Each devotion includes a link to the Scripture passage for the day.)
Reflect on the passage and pay attention to how God might be using it to speak to you.
Read and consider the devotion.
End in prayer. You may begin with the prayer offered at the end of each devotion or pray your own prayer.