Dear Tabernacle Family,
I am grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to share my heart with you this morning. I was reading through my devotional and I received a beautiful revelation about advent tenderness and I’d like to share parts of it with you.
Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:1-4 NIV)
Before now, I’ve never thought of the manger as the very place the Father “planted” Jesus, the “tender shoot” of Isaiah’s vision. But truly, Jesus is the root that broke through the dry ground of a fallen universe. Who could have imagined that the humble estate of a stable would become such a garden of grace and glory? Who could have dreamed that the mighty arm of the Lord would be revealed most powerfully in the weakness of his birth?
Jesus literally became everything ugly and vile about our sin. He became sin for us so that, in Him, we might be clothed and become the very righteousness of God. Jesus – who shared the eternal delight of the Godhead and the adoration and esteem of angels became the man of sorrows for us. And though Jesus did not remain a tender shoot, he retained ALL tenderness.
No one is familiar with suffering like our Lord Jesus. In taking up the cross, he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows. If we can make progress in only one thing this Advent season, Lord Jesus, may it be to have a much greater esteem for you. Intensify our love for you, deepen our awe of your manger and your cross, and make our hearts to be much more tender as the gospel is calling us to become.
Abundant blessings to you and your family.
Creative Media Director, The Tabernacle