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As we consider the call of John and look forward at Christmas to the birth of Christ, let us look at the content of God’s message to us

God knew exactly what he was doing when he sent Jesus to this earth.

The Cross wasn’t a “horrible misjudgement”

Rather the reason Jesus came into this world was to bring us back into a relationship with God.

The motivation was, as John Stott puts it in his book The Cross – the HOLY LOVE OF GOD.

God himself judges us for our sin and finds us guilty.

God, in Jesus steps down from the judgement throne and pays the penalty on our behalf.

Story: Let me explain this by a story.

A businessman was very good friends with a judge.

But the businessman had been fiddling the books.

And one day, the businessman was found out and brought before the bench (eg put on trial).

And who was on the bench that day but his good friend the judge.

There were whispers round the Court.

This will be a stitch up as the judge and the defendant are good friends.

But when the verdict was handed down there was a hush in the room. The fine was draconian.

It was over £1 million - the largest fine the Judge could give for the offence.

And if the businessman didn’t pay it, he would go to prison until it was paid

The businessman couldn’t pay it, and was shocked.

But as the jailers prepared to take him to prison, the judge took off his robes.

As He stepped down from the Bench, he took out his cheque book.

And he paid his friend’s fine in full.

Justice had been served but grace prevailed.

But there is a cost to us too

We are called to repent and follow Christ – cost it what it may

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