There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea … Luke 1:5
One thing the Hebrew nation has experienced time and again is oppression. This nation, chosen by God to demonstrate His overwhelming love and receive the commandments for how to navigate life in this broken, fallen, and evil world, has often been ruled and ravaged by others. Such was the situation at the time of Jesus’ birth.
And that causes me to ask, what is ruling us? Is it the pain of the past, the disappointment of dreams unfulfilled, or fear of the future? Not only for ourselves, but also for our loved ones? What haunts our meandering thoughts or keeps us awake at night? What is it in our lives that often hinders and holds us back from all God has for us?
Jesus’ entry into humanity reminds us first and foremost that His purpose for coming was a rescue mission behind enemy lines. This fallen planet is under the sway of the prince of darkness, the devil, since the fall in the Garden. Adam and Eve’s disobedience caused their God-given dominion to be handed hook, line, and sinker to the adversary. And the oppression of the human soul is the name of the enemy’s game.
But Jesus came. And He comes to us now. The advent of Jesus’ birth reminds each of us that freedom from the stuff in our lives is possible, no matter what our own foolishness, the world, or the devil has brought upon us. Christmas is the story of reinstating God’s authority in the life of every believer who surrenders their life to Him.
So, this Christmas, ask the Holy Spirit to help you take inventory. What has been filling my thoughts? What sins or habits still linger? Finally, ask yourself, have I given up seeking freedom from these areas in my life? Because if you and I have, Christmas reminds us that it is never too late to know glorious release from oppression–because Jesus came to wholly save us. To deliver us. To set us free now.