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ToGather: The King Who Shares Our Wounds (December 20, 2020)

Jesus' birth is the return of God as King to Israel. Once again, however, Israel rejects God as King. Jesus' people would only allow him as King of Israel to have the manger and the cross of Golgotha as his thrones while on earth. While Jesus' rejection and crucifixion are tragic, they brought us a special blessing. We are assured that God understands our pain! In Jesus, Gode became one of us. He suffered and was tempted as we are. We can know that he fully understands our pain — not just he is the all-knowing divine God, but also because as the Son, he dealt with the pain we feel. Jesus now lives to intercede for us and help us as we face our trials, temptations, and struggles:

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham. Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers, and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested (Hebrews 2:14-18 NLT).

Our Verse of the Day for this Sunday, reads:

"Do not be afraid," Samuel replied [to the people of Israel]. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart" (1 Samuel 12:20).

Isreal rejected God as King. They wanted a human king. Later, when Jesus came, he was the return of God as King for Israel. Only lowly shepherds and foreigners welcomed him:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:1-2).

What does all of this mean for us?

Why talk about this at Christmas time?

Jesus is the King who showed us his wounds so that we can know he shares our wounds!
Come join us for as Phil begins with the seemingly strange passage with Samuel talking about Israel rejecting God as King and wanting a human king. When Jesus came as King, he also suffered rejection as God and King.

Jesus endured humiliation, abuse, and death so that we could know that our King is willing to show us his wounds and share our wounds. We can know he understands our heartbreak, rejection, pain, and fear of death because he endured each of those and triumphed over them. He lives to intercede and help us (Hebrews 7:23-25). Jesus is the King who showed us his wounds so that we can know he shares our wounds!

We invite all who worship Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior to join us in our worship with believers from all around the world in this week's

Special thanks for the use of images related to Jesus' ministry from The Lumo Project and Free Bible Images.