Read: Galatians 4:4-7

. . . born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law. (vv. 4-5)

What is it like to be “born under the law?” It’s hell, to put it bluntly. The law proclaimed a curse upon all who failed to live according to its commands. The law declared that the wages of sin is death. The law pronounced that the law-breaker’s body should be suspended between heaven and earth, for “cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).

Jesus was born under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law’s curse. A price had to be paid to get us out of prison, so to speak. He alone was both willing and able to pay the full price of redemption. That is why he was born. That’s why the shadow of Golgotha already falls across the Christmas story.

An ancient legend says that the cross on which Jesus was crucified was made of beams from the stable of Bethlehem. As history that’s highly doubtful, but as theology it’s spot-on. Jesus’ whole life, from his birth onwards, was a preparation for his redeeming death. In one of his sermons John Donne put it this way: “His birth and his death were but one continual act, and his Christmas Day and his Good Friday are but the evening and the morning of one and the same day.”

Christmas Eve, Good Friday afternoon, Easter morning; his birth, his death, his resurrection—one and the same day, and all for our salvation. —David Bast

As you pray, sing “Glory to God in the highest!”