December 24

Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, …David the King begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. …Hezekiah begot Manasseh… Matthew 1:5-6,10

The genealogy of Jesus Christ was far from illustrious. If we look at it carefully, we find some spiritual giants, but also some base and sinful people. Rahab was a prostitute. Manasseh was a mass murderer. The wonderful truth is that the genealogy has a redemptive dimension. Jesus Christ was not grafted into the human race, to receive the ‘sap’ of the human ‘tree’ into Himself, but rather the human race was grafted into God through the incarnation and the cross. The sap that is in God made all those who receive Christ clean and pure. God does not look at our qualifications of birth, education or upbringing. God cuts us off from our past and plants us in Christ. Christ’s birth in Bethlehem means that the human race was planted back into God. His birth was the first step in our redemption. The cross is the culmination of His birth. By His cross He has taken our lives and planted them into the ‘new man’ – Ephesians 2:15. By the cross, we are grafted into Him and we begin life anew. We are not physically children of God, but spiritually we have made a completely fresh start. Christ has created in Himself a new humanity from the materials of the old humanity. In Christ is perfect redemption: our past is swallowed up, and the life of Christ is our future in this life and for all eternity.