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His Story

I was walking in a park with some friends the other evening. In the background came music from the familiar film A Charlie Brown’s Christmas. After 40 years, the classic is still going strong.

 

If you’re not familiar, the film climaxes with Charlie Brown lamenting, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

 

His friend responds, “Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” He proceeds to recite a scene from Luke’s advent narrative (Luke 2:8-14). Then concludes, “That’s what’s Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

 

Indeed, despite trends towards secularization, nativity scenes still decorate many homes and Christmas programs are plentiful. Thus, I’m pretty confident that most people will in some way be reminded of His story this time of year.

 

But, I suspect there’s something they won’t hear. Something I long for them to.

 

It’s simply this: His story is your history. Or at least, it can be.

 

Here’s the testimony. Paul, writing to Christians, explains,

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-7)

Paul just claimed Christians have experienced the resurrection (“made us alive”), ascension (“raised us up”), and heavenly enthronement (“sit together”) of Christ.

 

How can this be? I’ve never been to heaven. But Paul says, yes, you have. In Christ.

 

The Bible uses this expression “In Christ” all the time. It’s Paul’s way of saying, Christ’s life is now yours. His story is your history.

 

So in a deep sense, when we read the story of Christ, we are reading an invitation to accept it as our story.

 

This has powerful ramifications. It means we have an alternative history. No more carrying around the baggage of your life. You know that old habit you want to break? It’s already gone. It may have been in your old history, but your new history is His story, and He was in all points victorious.

 

Do you understand the significance of a whole new history? I suspect you do.

 

Let me tell you, believing this won’t be easy. The devil’s greatest temptation is not to get us to disobey, but to make us forget our identity in Christ. Jesus wasn’t asked to turn stones into bread until after the devil had questioned, “If you are the Son of God” (Matt 4:3). Likewise he’ll question your identity.

 

He’ll try to remind you of your old history and suggest that you’re fated to continue in it. But he’s wrong.

 

Like Jesus, rely on the word of God. Let it define you. A while ago I memorized that passage from Ephesians 2. I cling to it often.

 

Moreover, make it a daily habit to look to the cross. On it you’ll see the Son of Man taking on your story. All the nakedness, guilt, and shame associated with it. Keep looking. That history receives its punishment. It is sent to the grave. And there it remains.

 

Yet death cannot hold Christ. Arisen, having carried your broken history, He now offers you His story. A story of guiltless, shameless, perfect obedience. His story for your history.

 

Next time you walk past a nativity scene, remember that this is just the beginning of your history.

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