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   God the Father''s Justice(1) - 2016 Christmas Eve Service    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Psalm 37:6


Psalm 37:6
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is Friday Service right before Christmas, and I'd like to share the joy of Christmas with you. I wish you a happy and spirit-filled Christmas and celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Many people are working 5 days a week, and then starting from Friday evening, they enjoy their weekend drinking and shopping. Especially in December, which is the month of Christmas, we can easily find people going to year-end parties or dating, and Friday nights are painted by colorful flashy lights. Yet, it is hard to find Jesus [in the Christmas season] though He is the main reason for Christmas. It is because people do not know the true meaning of Christmas. They even say that Christmas is not the day only for Christians, but also a holiday for all the people, and they request to remove trees with a cross on its top.

It is very similar to the days when Jesus was born. Just as John 1:9 says, "There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man," Jesus came as the light. Yet, Jesus was rejected. As John 1:22 says, "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him."

But, you came to the church which is the body of the Lord ? the church of flashing Christmas tree lights. You are just like the magi from the east who followed the moving star, or the shepherd who obeyed the direction of an angel to worship baby Jesus.

Luke 2:10-11 says, "But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." I pray in the name of the Lord who came to the world as the light that joy and thanks may overflow tonight as we remember the meaning of Christmas.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Every Christmas, we rejoice over the birth of Jesus. Why is it? It is because, in the end, Jesus fulfilled the law with love. Jesus reconciled us with God.

In the days of the Old Testament, which was the era of the law, it was impossible to call God 'Father.' Does it mean the law set the mankind apart from God? No way. The law was originally set for a good reason. God gave Israelites the law so that they could enjoy the privilege of being the people of God and receive its accompanying blessings. It is just as God promised in Exodus 19:5-6. "Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."

But this law had become a heavy burden to most people when Jesus came. Its fundamental reason was that they violated the law seeking for their own benefit as they pleased; that is, they sought the attributes of the flesh.

What if a child doesn't know the love of parents? He treats parents' advice or discipline as nagging, and tries to ignore it. The more the people were stained by fleshly attributes and evil the more burdensome keeping the Law of God became and His Justice was felt rather than His Love. In other words, the law was not a promise of blessing, but a standard to judge them by their sin.

Of course, there seldom were people like the parents of John the Baptist, Anna, and Simeon who kept the law with their love for God. Most people, however, couldn't do so. Pharisees, scribes, and the lawyers were the examples of such people. They might be the experts on the law, but they were ignorant of the love contained in the law. Due to the errors of their teaching, the people of the time drifted away from God.

In such days of darkness, it was the Son of God who came to earth as the Light to shine in the world with the love of God. With the law, those lawyers caused the people to become distanced from God, but Jesus reconciled them with God with the same law.

A clear example is found in John Chapter 8. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and they asked Jesus a question. "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?" Jesus, then, wrote down their sins on the ground, and said, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

When they heard it, they began to depart one by one, and He alone was left with the woman. Jesus said to her, "I do not condemn you, either. Go, and from now on sin no more." The scribes and the Pharisees tried to judge her and condemn her in strict accordance of the law. It is just as Jesus said in Matthew 23:13, "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in."

On the other hand, Jesus saved the woman with love, which is the original idea of the law, and led her to reconcile with God. This was the ministry of Jesus who came to this earth and fulfilled the law with love.

Brothers and sisters.
There are some who misunderstand when we say that Jesus fulfilled the law with love. They say, "Since Jesus fulfilled the law with love, we don't need to be bound to the heavy burden of the law." But you should not misunderstand like this. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."

The light brightens up the darkness. That is, the light reveals dirty and filthy things which are hidden in the darkness. Jesus, who came to earth as the Light, revealed all the sins of the world clearly. He even drove out the money changers and those who were selling and buying things in the temple of God. He also strictly reprimanded them as hypocrites, calling them the brood of vipers.

It is just as Psalm 37:6 says, "He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday." The important thing is that Jesus revealed sins by the standard of justice, but that He solved the accompanying problems with love and sacrifice so that He helped the children of God o they could keep the law better. That is, those who understand the meaning of Jesus' coming to this world as the light can work harder to keep the law and the word of God. Yet, they do it not by fear, but with love.

Brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let me now explain two things on how Jesus fulfilled the law with love.

First, Jesus who came to this world paid 'the price' on behalf of us.

He paid the price of sin, first. When we violated the law, He didn't say, "The wage of sin is death. You must be punished for your sin." He didn't judge us and condemned us right away. He paid the price of sin for us so that we wouldn't be immediately be judged or punished.

Isaiah 53:4-6 says, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him."

Jesus didn't unconditionally forgive the woman who was caught in adultery. He didn't ignore the Law of Moses who commanded us to stone such women. His forgiveness was the invaluable forgiveness because He took her sin for her and died on the cross for her; He paid the price of her sin for her.

Jesus Himself took the curse by His own body; the curse we cannot escape from as we violate the law. We stole things with our hands and feet, we hit or beat others, and we lived after the worldly pleasures; yet we could be forgiven. Why is that? The reason was that Jesus paid the price of our sin by being nailed through both His hands and His feet.

We judged and condemned others, we hated others, and we had dirty and filthy thoughts, but when we repented, we are said to be blameless of the sin. Why is that? The reason was that Jesus put on such a dreadful thorny crown. When a child did something wrong, the parents of the child punished themselves because the child was too weak. Sometimes, we see parents, whose child committed a crime, say, "I'd like to pay the price of sin even by going to prison for my child," and beg forgiveness for him.

Like these parents, Jesus paid the price of sin for us. Because Jesus paid the price of sin for us and begged God the Father for our forgiveness, we can now be deemed blameless.

If no one had come to the world like Jesus who could sacrifice Himself for us, we would now live our lives trembling in fear out of shame for our sins. Or, we would have been ignorant of our sin, and eventually paid the price of sin ourselves. I once again give thanks and glory to the Lord who came to us as the bright light, the light of warm love.

Brothers and sisters.
To fulfill the law with love, Jesus not only paid the price of sin for us, but He also filled up the 'justice to receive answer.' After Adam's sin, this was also cursed; the suffering from poverty, diseases, and disasters were inevitable for mankind.

But the Lord didn't say, "You are to blame because you committed sin. You deserve the suffering." While He was on this earth, He filled up justice for us so that we could receive answers for food, clothes, home, healing, and the desires of our hearts.

What did He do to do so? To make us rich, He lived a life of poverty on our behalf. Those who used to experience the spring austerity can understand the suffering of no food.

Say, you used to be very poor, but now you can manage your life. Then your enemy begs you to pay his debt for him. But, if you pay the debt for him, you again have to live a poor life. Who in the world among you would willingly do it? Our Jesus willfully did it. Without any hesitation, He forsook all the glory of Heaven. He was born in the body of a man of this low world; He was born in a shabby manger. He grew up in the family of a carpenter, together with other brothers. During His ministry, He had no place to lay His head, and He was hungry. Since He redeemed us from poverty by living a poor life like this, we could become rich.

Furthermore, as He was scourged and wounded, He redeemed us from diseases and infirmities. We consider it great that someone gives his own family member his organ such as a kidney for transplant. Jesus paid the price of justice to the point of His precious flesh torn apart and His blood shed to help us a healthy life. How can He not answer when His children ask for healing of their diseases or infirmities?

He will not say, "Diseases are due to your sin, and you deserve the pain. You'd need to suffer." When a child suffers from high fever, how will her parents feel? They will be so sorry, and they would wish to suffer instead if they could. With such a heart, our Lord leads His children to healing.

Brothers and sisters. To be forgiven of sin, and to receive answers for what is desired, the price of justice should be paid. To reap, you must certainly sow. This is the law of the spiritual realm.

Unfortunately, however, many people misunderstand God regarding this. They often say, "I heard God is the God of love. But, whenever I ask for something, I have to pay the price for whatever I ask, don't I? Isn't that being kind of cold hearted?"

But what is it that we learned tonight? Before we are asked of the price, God the Father and the Lord paid the price more than enough for us. Our Jesus came to this earth as the Light and clearly cast the Light upon sin.

He didn't stop there. He drove out the darkness with His light, and showed the love of God the Father. On behalf of us, He gave up His own body. To the point of sacrificing His precious life, He paid the price for us. He did it just as a shining candle brightens the darkness by burning itself.

Thanks to Jesus, we came to understand the love of God the Father. He didn't judge and condemned us by the law. Instead, He himself bore our weakness, and helped us to understand the promise of the law, the deep love of God the Father who desires to receive salvation and blessing.

To fulfill the law with love, secondly, Jesus kept the commandments himself. On Sunday, Christmas, I will continue to explain this.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Until I was led by my sister to God, my life was completely dark without light. The pain, poverty, and loneliness during my 7-year-long sickness was felt like going through a biting cold winter night without a stove. When I was in such a situation, the Lord came to me. Since then, my life has completely changed. True happiness and peace surrounded me; I felt as if I were in a warm cozy room with Christmas tree lights flashing as wood inside a fireplace makes a cracking noise.

It was all because the Lord Himself came to this dark world and redeemed me from the suffering of poverty and dreadful punishments. Brothers and sisters. Since then, I've lived my life for one purpose only. That is, "How can I share this love with others?" "I'd like to unload their burden by any means I can. I must let help them know the love of the Father and of the Lord." I've run the course of life for this idea only, and tonight, I am standing before you although it isn't easy to do so.

I'm so happy and grateful because I can celebrate Christmas together with you. On this Christmas, I wish you can also share the love of the Lord with others. May you keep on working until the Lord comes back to take us to the beautiful place which is filled with light, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who came as the light, I pray.